Folk Music and Dance of Rajasthan India, Rajasthan Folk Music and Dance
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Rajasthan Tours Travel  »  Tourist Attractions  »  Folk Dance & Music of Rajasthan

Folk Dance & Music of Rajasthan

Folk Dancers, RajasthanAs evening falls and the amaranthine sun sinks low into the sands, the desert comes alive with joyous sounds and celebration. Tribes and gypsy troupes of folk dancers and musicians travel the land and entertain still, a legacy of a time when TV sets were unknown. Patronised by the royalty of yore these communities of performers are still thriving in the land where the culture has remained unchanged almost since the medieval age. Lissome women pirouette and dance to rhythmic beats, their skirts swirl around the fires around which they dance, they move gracefully even as they balance clay pots or lamps on their heads, and the beat, consistent in the background seems to emanate from the very heart of the desert. Some of these ancient dance forms are -

A spectacular performance in which veiled women dance nimbly balancing seven or more brass pitchers on their heads.

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Performed usually by a group of women, the dance is named after the Hindi word 'ghoomna' or pirouette, it is an elegant dance where the ladies twirl gently and gracefully in circles.

Chari Dance
In the desert, water symbolizes survival and gathering water is an important everyday ritual for the women, the Chari dance reflects this simple yet all important part of their life. The dancers choreograph deft patterns with their hands while balancing brass pots on their heads.

Kachhi Ghodi
Fire Dance Stage Show, RajasthanMale dancers in elaborate costumes have fake horses strapped around them, to make them resemble the fierce Rajput warriors of times gone by. A balladeer sings in the background, narrating tales of bloody battles and bandits, fifes and drums lend the beat and the dancers with broad sweeping movements and props such as shields and swords act out the performance.

Fire Dance
A dance that will both shock and surprise you. The dancers actually dance on a platform made of embers of burning wood and sizzling hot charcoal, drum beats rise in tandem with their movements, the music gradually crescendo and the dancers a trance like state. A spiritual performance, where of course not an inch of their feet gets burnt or harmed in any way.

Drum Dance
As the name suggests men dance with drums around their necks, a part of the troupe dances while playing huge cymbals and the lead dancer balances a pointy sword on his mouth while at the same time juggling painted sticks. You watch with bated breath to see which of these might fall, but alas they never do.

Snake Dance
One of the most sensuous dance forms of Rajasthan it is performed by the Kalbeliyas ( the snake charmers community). These sapera dancers wear long, black skirts embroidered with sliver ribbons and move with all the supple grace of these sinuous creatures.

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Rajasthani Music
Rajasthan's indigenous music was perfected in its royal courts, sophisticated in style it was accompanied by unusual instruments, mostly handcrafted by the musicians themselves. The songs spoke of valour, courage and were mostly in praise of the Rajput rulers. Some of Rajasthans most popular performances include the Maand, the Kuchamani Khayal, Maach, Tamasha, Rammat, Nautanki and Raasleela. These ballads were sung mostly to the tune of instruments like the Morchang, Naad, Sarangi, Kamayacha, Rawanhattha, Algoza, Khartal, Poongi, Bankia and Daf. Most of these instruments are handcrafted and exclusive only to Rajasthan, you may want to take a closer look at them when you are there.

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