The veerbhadra is the festival of performance in an entirely South Indian style. One actor is made up to represent veerbhadra, who according to Hindu mythology, was created from the matted hair of Shiva at the time of devastation of Daksha’s sacrifice.
He dances with two swords in his hands; two main supporters dance at his side; and a whole group supports them with dancing and musically timed shouts.
The dholak and the tasha (respectively a two sided wooded drum and one sided copper drum played with sticks) are the percussion accompaniments.
The costumes are Kannada style and the turbans are Mysore style. The beat is marked during the dance in characteristically southern style with syllables such as tha-thai-ya, thak-thai-ya.
Veerbhadra is performed once a year, as a religious observance, in some parts of Ponda district and some of Sanguem. Apart from these veerbhadra is performed only in Sanquelim.
On the night of the observance, the play Dakshakanya Sati is performed and towards the end, as a final part of the play, veerbhadra enters. As soon as he does the characters run off the stage, leaving the actor to perform.