Dances of Rajasthan
Rajasthan Tours -
Rajasthan is one of the most fascinating regions in
India, with one of the oldest civilizations and extremely rich cultural
heritage. The State of Rajasthan ........
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Himachal Pradesh is situated in the heart of the western Himalayas.
Shimla, a beautiful hill station is the state capital of the Himachal
Pradesh is Shimla, largest city .....
Ladakh is among the most beautiful places in the world which is situated
at a height of 3513 meters above sea level......
and dance play a significant role in the life of
people of Rajasthan. The cool stillness of the desert
after the hot days are filled with soulful music and
rhythmic dance. Both music as well as dance are
respected as skills by the dwellers of the desert.
There are several communities of entertainers in
Rajasthan, who served at court, recounting the tales
of passion and valour of the warriors and others. For
many of these communities, this is the only source of
their income. Traditionally, families would invite the
Bhats, Dholis, Nats and Bhaands to sing and dance at
family celebrations, births or marriages, or other
festivities. No Rajasthani marriage is complete unless
accompanied by the deep bass of their voice.
Professional entertainers who performed a particular
type of dance like Bhopas, the Kachhi Ghodi dancers,
and the puppeteers are found in the more fertile
tracts of eastern Rajasthan. Some of the best known
entertainers of Rajasthan are the Kalbeliya dancers,
with their rhythmic snake dances and the Langhas and
Manganiyars of Jaisalmer. The 'Dholis' or the singing
community of Rajasthan is popular both at the domestic
and international levels.
dance styles, music and the musical instruments also
differs from region to region. The most significant
are the devotional songs and the communities who
render these songs. There is a richness and diversity
in Rajasthani music which comes from a tradition that
is old and undisturbed, and from a culture that has
imbibed the best from its neighboring states of Sindh,
Gujarat, Malwa, Mewat, Haryana and Punjab. The voices,
both male and female, are strong and powerful. The
numerous songs sung by the women reflect the various
feminine moods and strong family ties that govern
people of Rajasthan have their own ways to celebrate the evening
in the form of folk music and dance. The desert comes alive when
the performers perform the folk dances. The females participate
equally in these refreshing activities. The Ghoomar dance is the
unique dance form of Rajasthan that is performed in the privacy
of homes, by the women only, while all other folk dances are
either linked to a particular region, or a particular festival.
In recent years, these performances have become more widespread,
and the regional distinction is beginning to wear off. In the Ghoomar dance, the elegant movement of the dancers in circles,
making the Ghagra (like a long skirt) flow both clockwise and
anti clockwise is stunning.
dance form is the Chari
dance which involves the dancer holding a pot with lighted lamp
on their heads. It is a great art of balancing. Another act of
bravery can be enjoyed at the fire dance when the boys and men
jump over the live wood and charcoal, and the drumbeats in the
background add to the effect of the performance.
Dances of Rajasthan
of the best known folk dances of Rajasthan are Bhavai, Chari,
Drum Dance, Fire Dance, Gair, Ghoomar, Kachhi Ghodi, Kathak,
Kathputli, Sapera Dance and Terah Tali.
Ghoomar is a community dance form of the Rajputs and performed
by the women of the house. The word "Ghoomar" is
derived from the word ghoomna, which means moving in circles.
Ghoomar is a very simple dance in which the women uses simple
swaying movements to convey the spirit of any auspicious
occasion and move gracefully in circles. There is an amazing
grace as the skirts flare slowly while the women twirl in
circles, their faces covered by the veil. All the women, whether
old or young, participate in the dance, which can continue for
hours into the night. A new bride, on being welcomed to the home
of her husband too, is expected to do the Ghoomar dance as one
of the rituals of the marriage.
Gair is one of the dance forms of the Bhil tribes. This
picturesque dance is performed during Holi festival and
performed by both men and women together. The men wear long,
pleated tunics that open out into full-length skirts as they
move first in clockwise then in anti-clockwise direction,
beating their sticks to create the rhythms when they turn. The
variations of this dance are the Dandia Gair of the Marwar and
Geendad of the Shekhawati region.
3. Chari Dance
Chari Dance is more popular in the Kishangarh region. This dance
involves dancing with a chari or pot on the head. The dancers
make the intricate patterns with their hands while balancing
brass pots on their heads. The performance is made more
picturesque with the flames from cotton seeds set alight, so
that the bobbing heads create streaks of illuminated patterns as
they move effortlessly around the floor.
4. Kachhi Ghodi
Kachhi Ghodi dance originated from the Bandit region of
Shekhawati. This dance is performed by the men for the
entertainment in the bridegroom's party. The men wear elaborate
costumes that looks like riding on the dummy horses.
swords, these men move rhythmically on the beating of drums
and a ballad singer sings the exploits of the Robin Hood.
5. Fire Dance
The fire dance is
performed by the Jasnathis of Bikaner and Churu. These
dancers perform this dance on a large bed of flaming coals
on to the beats of drums that rises in crescendo till the
dancers appear to be in a near hypnotic state. These
devotional performances can be usually seen on the winter’s
The Bhavai dance is one of the most spectacular dance. In this
dance, the veiled women dancers balance up to seven or nine
brass pitchers as they dance nimbly, pirouetting, and then
swaying with the soles of their feet perched on top of a glass,
or on the edge of a sword. Some of the performers use only
papier mache pots that are stuck together, and move their feat,
The drum dance is performed by the warriors. In this dance, a
naked sword is put in the mouth of a man, and juggle three
swords with his hands while avoiding the injury caused to
himself. His troupe that consists of musician holding aloft
drums around their necks and cymbals in their hands assist him
in this dance.
Kathak, a formal and classical form of dance evolved as a
Gharana in the courts of Jaipur where it reached to such a scale
that established it as distinct from the other centers. Even
today, the Jaipur Gharana is well established and the
performances occur in other centres rather than in the state
where the opportunity for classical dance forms has been on the
decline for a while. The most famous centre of Kathak in Jaipur
is the Jaipur Kathak Kendra, where this dance form is still
taught by some of the earlier tecahers of the Jaipur Gharana.
The traditional puppet show or Kathputli dance, once existed in
Rajasthan. Kathputli dance is a traveling form of entertainment
and uses the ballads, retold in the voice of the puppeteer who
is assisted by his family in erecting a make-shift stage. In
this dance, the puppets are strung on the stage and various
historic stories, tales of love are told and include much
screeching and high-pitched sounds as the puppets swirl and move
10. Sapera Dance
The Sapera Dance is one of the most sensuous dance forms of
Rajasthan which is performed by the Kalbeliya snake-charmers
community. In this dance, the sapera dancers wear long, black
skirts embroidered with silver ribbons. As they spin in circle,
their body swings in such a way, that it is impossible to
believe that they are made of anything other than rubber.
Sometimes, the music and dance increases to such a pitch that it
leaves the viewer and as well as the dancer exhausted.
11. Terah Taali
Terah Tali is the devotional form of dance that is practiced by
the Kamad community of Pokhran and Deedwana, to honour their
folk hero, Baba Ramdeo. In this dance, the women sit on the
floor before his image and thirteen cymbals are tied to various
parts of their body which they strike with the ones they hold in
their hand. Their hands make various patterns while they do
this, and sometimes, they may also balance pots on their hands
and hold a sword in their mouth.
folk singers of Rajasthan also play various musical instruments like
the sarangi, ghungroos and ektara to bring the sweetest music to the
people of Rajasthan.
sarangi is the most important folk musical instrument and is found in
various forms in Rajasthan. The Jantar of the Bhopas of Dev
Narain ji is like the Goddess Saraswati's Rudra Veena. The jantar has
two gourds, four strings and fourteen frets. The Ektaara is also a
single string instrument, but is mounted on the belly of a gourd which
is attached to a body made of bamboo.
Western Rajasthan, a simple instrument called the Morchang is very
popular. The Ghoralio is common among the Bhils, Garasiyas and the
Kallbelias. Both these instruments resemble the Jewish harp.