Lavani which is well known for its powerful rhythm is one of the most important folk dance
forms of India. It is a genre of music popular in the Maharashtra state of India
. The dance
is also practiced in southern Madhya Pradesh
. This art form has contributed largely to the development of Marathi folk theatre
. Lavani can also be defined as a romantic number sung by woman who is waiting for her lover to accept her.
History of Lavani
The word Lavani did originate from the term "Lavanya" which means beauty. Quite ideally therefore beauty, splendour, magnificence coupled with the aura of sheer feminism laces this classical folk dance form whilst offering it a colossal identity of its own. Although the exact date of the origin of Lavani is still vague, however it is said that in the long gone era this dance form did originate as a typical form of entertainment and also as a boost to the tired soldier. It was much later Lavani became a well-accepted and well-celebrated folk dance form of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Development of Lavani
The dance is developed into two forms, namely Phadachi Lavani and Baithakichi Lavani. The form essayed before a large audience in a theatrical atmosphere is known as Phadachi Lavani. And, when it is performed in a closed chamber for a private and select audience by a girl sitting before the audience, it is called as Baithakichi Lavani.
Performance of Lavani
Lavani is like a musical discussion and is therefore a harmonious blend of tune, timber, dance, song and tradition. The enchanting beats of the "Dholak" coupled with the zing of the colourful dance form, adds an articulate dimension to this particular folk music while making it jazzier. The tempo of Lavani is pretty fast and is often unified with the rhythmic feet of the colourful dancers. The themes of this folk dance concentrate on myriad subject matters like society, religion, politics and romance. Some castes of Maharashtra like Mahar Kolhati, Kumbhar, and Matang mainly perform Lavani.
Costumes of Lavani
The female performers of this dance dress themselves in a nine-yard long sari called navvari and tie their hair in a bun. They also wear heavy jewelleries
, ear rings
, payal, kamarpatta (a belt at waist), bangles etc to complete their look. Bindi is an important accessory of this dance. The participants usually put a large bindi of dark red colour on their forehead.