Various Folk Dances of Maharashtra
Kala and Dindi are the religious folk dances of this state which are performed with a lot of enthusiasm. Apart from the religious folk dances, there are various other folk dances which are performed in the state of Maharashtra. The folk dances of Maharashtra are detailed below:
Kala: Kala is a form of folk dance which describes the jovial mood of Lord Krishna. This folk dance of Maharashtra includes in its performance a pot which symbolizes fertility. A man breaks the pot and splashes curds over the dancers. The dancers twirl sticks and swords in a feverish battle dance after this ceremonial opening. The most prominent attraction of this dance form is the rhythm and the beat.
Dindi: Another religious folk dance of Maharashtra is Dindi. This dance is performed mainly during the day of Ekadashi in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. This dance portrays Lord Krishna performing naughty deeds and having a playful nature. The dancers dance with the rhythm of the drum beat known as Dindi by encircling the musicians, and thus creating a fantastic musical background.
Koli: Koli Folk Dance is another folk dance of Maharashtra which got its name from fisher folk of the state called 'Kolis'. The Kolis are known for their lively dances and a separate identity. The dances of these fishermen possess elements taken from their occupation, which is fishing. Koli is performed in this state by women and men, who divide themselves in two groups. They depict the boat rowing movement in the Koli dance. The Koli dancers also present the wave movements and the net casting movement as if catching fish.
Lavani: Lavani is a mixture of traditional dance and song, which is performed mainly to the beats of 'Dholak'; an instrument like a drum. This folk dance is executed by beautiful women wearing sarees of 9 yards called Nauvari Saree. The women whirl on the quivering beats of conventional music. The word ‘Lavani’ has been originated from ‘Lavanya’, which means beauty. Previously, this folk dance dealt with various subjects like religion, politics, society, romance, etc. Lavani dance served as a morale booster and entertainment to the exhausted soldiers in the 18th and the 19th century battle of the Marathas. A number of renowned Marathi poets including Ramjoshi, Prabhakar, Honaji Bala, etc. added to the fame and reputation of Lavani folk dance.
Dhangari Gaja: Dhangari Gaja is one of the most famous folk dances of Maharashtra. It is performed by the shepherds of the Solapur District who are also known as Dhangar. The Dhangari Gaja folk dance is executed in order to please the Shepherd's God and to get his blessings. The Dhangar dancers wear traditional Marathi dresses like Pheta, Angarkha, Dhoti and a colourful handkerchief. The groups of Dhangar dancers surround the players of drums and move with the rhythm.
Povadas: Povadas forms a part of Marathi ballads, depicting the life of Maratha leader Shri Chatrapati Shivaji. Shivaji holds a respectable position in each and every Maharashtrian’s heart. Through the Povadas, people remember Shivaji, who was a famous hero of his period.
Folk dances of Maharashtra depict the lives of people from different societies of the respected state. The culture and tradition of Maharashtra are well revealed through these dance forms when they are presented in the festivals or any other occasions.
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