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Folk Dances

There is a reason why the state of Rajasthan is called “rangeelo” (colourful) Rajasthan. The myriad hues of the clothes of the Rajasthani Folk depict this so well. The glory of the colours is best seen in folk dances of the state. Here we give you a brief on various traditional dance forms of the state:

Gowari Dance - The most famous art form of the Bhil tribe is the “Gowari” which is a kind of dance drama. The troupe travels from village to village to perform their dance drama. In between the drama enactments, the entire troupe dances around a central spot which is considered holy.

Ghoomar Dance - The Ghoomar dance is a very famous community dance of women in Rajasthan. It is performed on various auspicious occasions like fairs & festivals, weddings and other family functions. The performers in Ghoomar dance sway in circles to a repetitive rhythm.

Terahtali Dance - The Terahtali dance is a very fascinating and unusual dance of Rajasthan. It is considered as a devotional form of dance and it is performed by women folk in a sitting posture. It is termed as `Terahtali" as terah (thirteen) manjeeras or cymbals are used to create rhythm on which, the dancers move. Manjeeras are tied on their wrists, elbows, waists, arms and a pair in their hands as well.  Sometimes, they may hold a sword between their teeth or do the balancing act of holding of pots or lighted lamps on their heads. The Kamad community of Rajasthan is privileged to perform it.

Drum Dance - It is a professional dance-form popular from Jalore region of Rajasthan. Only the men folk perform this dance. In this dance, five men beat huge drums that are tied around their necks; and a dancer who holds huge cymbals or sometimes a sword in his mouth performs this vigorous dance form to the drum beats. With some form of variations, Drum dance is performed in various other states of India as well.

Chari Dance - Rajasthan is an arid state and many parts experience scarcity of water. Sourcing water from faraway places is an everyday chore for the women folk in many villages. They carry water in charis (brass pots) and that is where this dance form originated. Many such pots are balanced like a tower on the head of the dancer and sometimes the top pot is lit up with a flame from the cottonseed plant to make the dance even more dramatic. This is a popular art form from the Kisherigarh region.

Kathputli Dance - Kathputli Dance means the dance of puppets. Legends and folk tales are told through the puppets in this dance form. Sometimes men and women also enact the puppets to give the dance a little twist.

Kalbeliya Dance - The Kalbeliyas is the snake-charmer community from Rajasthan. Theirs is one of the most popular dance forms. Performed by mostly women who bend and swirl like gymnasts, this dance form is very peppy and entertaining. The kaalbeliya community relies on the performances for its livelihood.

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