(Last Updated on : 23/06/2011)
Folk dances of Rajasthan
derived from various folk art cultures. They have their own significance and importance. A medieval history includes the existence of princely states, which provided patronage to these art forms and their artists. Vibrant, vigorous and graceful, the dances of Rajasthan evoke the desert in all its moods. The folk dances, found in limitless variations in Rajasthan, punctuate Rajasthan`s barrenness, turning the land into a fertile basin of colour and creativity and are an expression of human emotion as much as the folk music.
Types of Rajasthani Folk Dances
The most famous art form of the Bhil tribe is the `Gowari`, which is a kind of
dancedrama. The performers travel from village to village as a troupe for a month,
during which the nine functionaries follow a strict regimen. The entire troupe dances
around a central spot concentrated to a deity. A `madal` and a `thali` accompany the
The Ghoomer dance is a very famous and a community dance of Rajasthan. It is performed on various auspicious occasions like fairs & festivals by women.
This fascinating danceform is also performed by women and is considered as a devotional form of dance. Manjeeras are tied on the wrists, elbows, waists, arms of the performers. The women with dexterous and fine movements dance at a strong rhythm on beats of `Manjeeras`, whereas, the male partners sing and play on the `Tandoora.`
It is a professional dance-form of Jalore region of Rajasthan, where only the men participants can perform. In this dance, five men beat huge drums that are tied around their necks; a dancer, which holds huge cymbals in their hands, also accompanies them. For an additional effect, some member holds naked sword in his mouth.
The stirring fire dance is performed by the `jasnathis` of Bikaner
and Churu districts.This dance is example of Jasnathis`s life style. These devotional dances can be seen only in late nights.
It is a dance form of the villagers and executes the happiness of them when they go to search water and find it. The women go many miles just to collect water to fulfill their daily needs. While going they express their joy through the Chari dance. Dancers while balancing brass pots on their heads perform various steps & dance to gain perfect patterns of movements with their hands.
Kathputli Dance means the dances of puppets. It is a traditional dance of Indian state of Rajasthan. Through the puppet shows all the real stories of great herons have been told from village to another.
The Kalbeliyas, is a snake-charmer community from Rajasthan, which performs the Kalbeliya dance. They rely heavily on this dance performance for their living.
Gair Dance is a folk dance of the Bhil community of Rajasthan, which is performed at the festival of Holi
. There are several differences in the performance of men and women in this dance.
This form is very difficult and can only be performed by skilled artists. This dance basically involves women dancers balancing 8 to 9 pitchers on their heads and dancing simultaneously.
Costumes of Rajasthani folk dances
The female dancers wear colourful, embroidered and mirror worked skirts called `ghagra` in most of the performances.They wear `kurti
` or `choli` and `odhna
The apparel for Rajasthani men are somewhat more restrained than the women`s clothes and are still quite varied in form and texture. Traditionally, the lower garment of Rajasthani men is the unstitched `dhoti
` or a stitched garment such as the `pyjama`, some garments related to the pyjama include the suthan, izar, shalvar or salvor, survala or sural and ghutanna. The upper garment is `bandi` and a `kurta
` or tunic that is commonly worn. During some performances they wear `achkan
` or `shervani`.
Musical Instruments for Rajasthani folk dances
The Rajasthani folk musicians use sarangi
, ghunroos and ektara
to bring out sweetest melody. Dhol is the most popular percussion instrument. Nagara is also very popular. Thali
and kartal are Rajasthani autophonic instruments. Shahenai and flute are also used for added quotient.
In Rajasthan, folk dances are the outbursts of any celebration and festivity. The Rajasthani people both men and women enjoy dancing. The dance styles reflect their emotion and celebration.