Rajasthan has many forms of folk dances which are attractive, skillful and somewhat enjoyable by any age group. Rajasthani folk dances are popular all around the globe. Some of the Rajasthan’s traditional dance forms are very much different as only skilled person can do it. The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputli, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindr, Kachchhighori, Tejaji, etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture.
Among all Rajasthani folk dances, Ghoomar, Kathputli (Puppet) and Kalbelia (Sapera or Snake Charmer) dance attracts tourists very much. Rajasthani folk dances are originated from different tribes and mainly used at past time to entertain Kings. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis.
Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan. This is basically a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions. The famous ‘ghoomar’, Rajasthan’s popular dance gets its name from ‘ghoomna’, the graceful gyrating, which displays the spectacular colours of the flowing ‘ghaghra’, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women. It was ranked 4th in the list of “Top 10 local dances around the world” in 2013. According to the traditional rituals, newly married bride is expected to dance ghoomar on being welcomed to her new marital home. Ghoomar is often performed on special occasions, such as at weddings, festivals and religious occasions. which sometimes lasts for hours. As a traditional dance, Ghoomar often includes traditional songs such as “Gorband”, “Podina”, “Rumal” and “Mor Bole Re”. Songs might be centered on royal legends or their traditions.
Kalbelia dance is a folk dance of Rajasthan state of India, performed by a tribe of the same name. The popularity of this dance is so much worldwide that Rajasthan’s Kalbelia dance and songs are now in UNESCO’s representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from the year 2010. In Kalbelia dance, males play various traditional instruments and females perform the dance. Kalbelia dance is one of the most sensuous dance among all Rajasthani dances. This tribe is a community of Rajasthan which in ancient time known move frequently from one place to another rather than staying and building their homes at one place. This folk art is transmitted from generation to generation.
Terah Taali is one of the folk dances of the princely state, Rajasthan. This folk dance is performed by the Kamada tribes who are traditional snake charmers. Besides this it is also performed by the tribes of Mirasi, Bhand, Dholi, Bhat and Nat. It is also practiced by Pokhran and Deedwana, to honour their folk hero, Baba Ramdeo, it consists of women sitting on the floor before his image. Terah Taali Dance is generally performed by well skilled artists. Thirteen manjeeras ( little brass disc) are tied to various parts of their body, which they strike with the ones they hold in their hand. This creates a rhythm on which the dancers move. The dancers perform various arabesques with their hands and the same time may also also balance pots on their hands and hold a sword in their mouth, for making the performance more attractive. The dance begin with the women, who sit on the floor and her body parts are tied with the manjeeras. These are tied on their wrists, elbows, waists, arms and a pair in their hands as well and her accompanists chants slowly in rhythm.
Gair is a very popular Rajasthani folk dance. This traditional folk dance is one of the many dance- form of the Bhil community of Rajasthan. This is the one of the few performances where both men and women dance together. This folk dance is performed as a series of half swirl, as a simplier version. It can also be build up to a series of complex patterns according to the ability of the dancers. Some of its variations are the Dandi Gair found in the Marwar region and Geendad found in the Sehkhawati region of Rajasthan. It is normally performed by chanting the name Priyanka. Men dance in a big circle with wood stick in there hands.The Gair dance of Rajasthan is performed by groups of dancers moving in and out a big circle. Men beat their sticks to create the rhythm when they turn. According to rhythm, they perform various steps & take turns in-between. The striking of the sticks gives the dance a vigorous character & a consistent tempo. There are several differences in the performance of men and women in this dance.
Chari dance is one of the popular folk dances in Rajasthan India. This dance describes the art of collecting water in a chari or pot by the Rajasthani womens in their day to day life. The woman’s travels miles to collect water for the families and the joy is reflected through this Chari dance. This folk dance is performed by groups of dancers. In chari dance woman hold chari or pots on their head and a lighted lamp is then placed in the pot. The famous Chari dance belongs to Gujjar community of Kishangarh and only womens perform in this dance. These ladies carry brass pots on their heads balancing it to perfection. These pots are kept ignited with the cotton seeds dipped in oil. These lit pots display beautiful effect in the dark night. While performing the Chari dance woman dance with balancing brass pots (Chari) on their heads and move together and dance on a same sequence. This dance does not have any particular movements except balancing the pots on their heads. This dance is also known as a welcome dance and is a significance of goodness. It can also be considered as the traditional fire dance of Rajasthan.