Rajasthani culture is a blend of rhythmic music and lively dance and this state is home to many such traditional art forms. Read further to know about some folk music and dances of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is the land of culture and diversity. The state has a long list of traditions that are amazing and worth knowing. The liveliness of this culture reflects in the folk music and dance of Rajasthan. Rajasthani music is so pleasing to the ears and it can make anyone fall in love with its melody. The same goes for various dance forms that can submerge anyone with their beauty and allure.
Ghoomar is one of the most popular dance forms in Rajasthan. It is famous all over the world and is mainly performed by veiled women wearing a ghaghra. The word ghoomar literally means twirling where the dancer takes rounds in circles. The art was performed by the Bhil tribe to worship Goddess Saraswati in the earlier days.
This is a popular dance form of the Kalbeliya community in the state of Rajasthan. The people of Kalbeliya are known as snake charmers and perform this dance by replicating the movement of a serpent. The dancers mostly wear black clothes while performing. This dance form is also mentioned in ‘UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’
Another dance form that embraces the beauty of Rajasthani folk culture is Bhavai. It is a beautiful representation of balancing and movement. The dancers balance earthen pots or brass/metal pitchers on their heads while they perform the steps. Sometimes they dance on utensils and pointed weapons with over 6 to 7 pots which increase the difficulty.
Chari or Pot Dance
Chari Dance is a famous traditional dance form of Gujars of Kishangarh in Rajasthan. It is a group dance and is only performed by women. They balance the pots filled with water on their head and make skillful moves that are very attractive to watch. Sometimes these pots are lit with fire also. This dance is usually performed on special occasions and festivals.
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Kachhi Ghodi is a famous dance form of the Shekhawati region in Rajasthan. It is performed by men representing the stories of Bandits of the Shekhawati region. The men wear Dhoti (traditional Indian bottoms), and colourful turbans and ride a puppet horse while performing this art form. This dance is fun and entertaining to watch.
Terah Taali is one of the oldest dance forms in Rajasthan. This art requires special skills and regular practice as 13 manjeeras (a brass disc instrument) are tied to various parts of the body which make a rhythm while they strike the ones in the hand. It gets more difficult when the dancers hold pots over their heads. This art is performed by the tribes of the Mirasi, Bhand, Dholi, Bhat, and Nat communities.
Maand or Mand is a popular Rajasthani music that lies between a Raga and a traditional folk song. Earlier, this music was considered a royal affair and was sung only in courts to praise the Rajput rulers. But now it is performed at cultural fests, occasions, and folk fairs. The famous song ‘Kesariya Balam’ is created using this style.
Panihari is special music developed by the women of the state. As Rajasthan has a scarcity of water, the women in the olden days used to make and sing songs to invite rain. Mostly, all the Panihari songs are dedicated to rain and rivers.