Rajasthan Folk Dances
The most famous art form of the Bhil tribe is the `Gowari`, which is a kind of dance drama. The performers of this art form travel from village to village as a troupe for the performance in a month, during which the nine functionaries follow a strict regimen.This drama includes many characters, out of which, the main characters are Rai Buriya Shiva & his two `Rais`. With them a comic characters called `Katkuria` plays an important role in the drama. Between the enactments of various episodes, the entire troupe dances around a central spot. This spot is holy to a respected deity.
The Ghoomar dance is a very famous and a community dance of women in Rajasthan. It is performed on various auspicious occasions like fairs & festivals. The performers in Ghoomar dance sway their colorful ghagras that are rich in embroidery work and it is also embellished with mirror-work.
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. The women with dexterous and fine movements dance at a strong rhythm on the beats of `Manjeeras`, whereas, the male accompanists sing and play on the `Tandoora`. 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. This community people perform it to pay homage to their hero Baba Ramdev. In this dance form, women sit on the floor in front of the image of Baba Ramdev & perform various steps.
It is a professional dance-form performed from Jalore region of Rajasthan, where only the men participants can perform it. In this dance, five men beat huge drums that are tied around their necks; a dancer, which holds huge cymbals in their hands, also accompanies them. For an additional effect, some member holds naked sword in his mouth and performs vigorously by twirling three painted sticks. It is no doubt a stirring performance from a martial race. With some form of variations, Drum dance is performed in various states of India as well.
Rajasthan has a lot of inadequate water supply and gathering water from a far distance is a part of everyday life of women folk. The women go many miles just to collect water to fulfill their daily needs. While going they express their joy through the Chari dance. Dancers while balancing brass pots on their heads, perform various steps & dance to gain perfect patterns of movements with their hands. To make the performance more attractive, the flames from cottonseeds are set alight on the pot, so that the bobbing heads create streaks of illuminating patterns as they move effortlessly around the floor. This is popular performance in the Kisherigarh region. This dance demands a lot of patience and balance on the part of dancer. The dancers carry brightly lit brass pots on their heads, displaying many flexible movements of the body.
Kathputli Dance means the dances of pupates. It is a traditional dance of Indian state of Rajasthan. Through the puppet shows all the real stories of great heros has been told from village to another.
The Kalbeliyas, is a snake-charmer community from Rajasthan, which performs the Kalbeliya dance. They rely heavily on this dance performance for their living.