(Last Updated on : 19/12/2012)
The aura of distinctive culture and traditions can be found in the western states of India which have had a deep down resonance with rich traditions of an ancient culture though modified with various foreign influences and ravages of time. The music as well as dance of this region is pregnant with a continuum of various influences. The states lying in the western part of the country boasts of innumerable dance forms which have an admixture of the expressions of folk and tribal forms. Each dance form has a specialty of its particular region. Furthermore, the dance forms of the western region are exuberant and colourful. The states of Rajasthan
have their own dance forms which communicate with the masses and reveal the charm of the region.
West Indian Dances are elaborate and acquire a rich style and appearance set in the traditional patterns as a result of which Rajasthan and Gujarat of western India are possessor of magnificent forms of folk dances. The popular folk and tribal dances of the western region include Dandiya
, Tarpha Nach, and Tera Tali. The folk dances of the western region though have their origin in the rural village people, at present they are synonymous to the music of the Indian masses. These regional dances of western India reflect the vast cultural diversity of the region and are considered to be the higher form of art.
Among the vibrant West Indian Dances, Dandiya is one of the mesmerizing folk dances of Gujarat which has earned recognition all over the country as well as abroad for its rhythmic tunes and captivating movements. The dance is known for its exhilarating flow of colours and brightness whereas the enriching illustration of the dance crowns it as one of the renowned social dances of India. Dandiya is the dance which is performed to mark the occasion of Navratri. It is performed with sticks that represent the sword of Durga
' is also a popular folk dance form of Gujarat and is performed before the 'Aarti' in the Navaratri
The tinge of colour and opulence of heritage can be witnessed in the folk and tribal dances of Maharashtra. The tribals of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
have their dance form of "Tarpa" and the manifestation becomes even more enticing during moonlit nights and continues past midnight and is indeed the specific dance of the region. Besides, Tarpa dances, West Indian Dances are also highlighted by the folk elements of the dance for, Lavani
. Lavani, or Lavani, gets its name from the word lavanya which is synonymous to beauty. This dance form has a rich history that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The intrinsic part of this art form is, it is performed by women only. According to history, this dance was performed as an entertainment that tried to boost the morale of tired soldiers during time of the war. Koli of Maharashtra) has its etymological roots deep embedded in the Koli tribe of Maharashtra
incorporating all the mandatory elements. The Koli dance is performed by men and women alike - separated into two groups of fisherman and fisher women where the crux of the dance is enacted by the smaller group of men and women as the women make advances towards the men. Maharashtra even boasts of dindi and kala dance where the playful attitude of Lord Krishna is presented with the beating of Dindi, a small drum at the back ground. The musicians, comprising of 'Mridangam' player and a vocalist, take their position in the centre providing mellifluous tones of music to be accompanied with dance. This dance is usually performed on the Ekadashi day in the Hindu month of Kartik.
The West Indian Dances is enriched by the folk dance of Rajasthan. Ghoomar
of Rajasthan is performed by women, creating a graceful and glittering effect. According to the history; Ghoomar, originated with the Bhils, a tribal clan of Rajashtan, which was gradually adopted by the royal women of Jaipur
. The folk dances of western region are performed on all auspicious and festive occasions. Dang Lila is also a popular folk form of the region. The dances of the western part of country are spontaneous expressions of the spirit of the people incorporating the basic instinct of rhythm, imagination, and artistic expression of the people. Thus, the regional dances of western India introduce the ethnicity of the land.