Rajasthani Classical Dance

Rajasthan is the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. The state capital is Jaipur. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River.

Rajasthan is a vibrant patchwork of rich extensive tradition in art and culture, which reflects Indian way life. Most of the folk art forms and folk dances have been passed down from one generation to the other. Folk arts and folk dances and of course the clothes and dresses worn by the people form an inseparable part of the culture and traditions of Rajasthan. An equally rich and varied folk culture from villages is both fascinating & mesmerizing. Rajasthani cultural tapestry takes in simple folk to highly cultivated classical music and dance in its own distinct style.

Over the years settlers in this desert land have added color and brightness to their life with colorful costumes, jewelry, dance and music. Rajasthan is referred to as the royal land as the Rajputs ruled different parts of this state in the medieval age and have left traces of their royal grandeur and splendor in the form of monuments, arts and crafts that they patronized, folk dances, customs and traditions associated with religious practices, everyday life, birth, marriage and death.

They are also a reflection of the indomitable spirit of the Rajasthani’s who have learnt to enjoy themselves even in the harshest of conditions. The state also glows with its historic past of royalty and magnificence.


JAIPUR

Jaipur, Rajasthan Capital, also popularly known as the Pink City because of the pink-colored buildings in its old city. it sits on a dry lakebed in a somewhat arid landscape, surrounded by barren hills surmounted by forts and crenellated walls. Jaipur is considered by many urbanists to be one of the best planned cities. The City Palace complex is the most important landmark with its numerous outbuildings, courtyards, impressive gateways and temples. Across the road from the palace is the Jantar Mantar, one of the five observatories. Hawa Mahal (Place of Winds) is a remarkable structure which overlooks one of the main streets and also provides some excellent views of the city. Located just outside the walled city is the sprawling Ram Niwas Garden. The garden houses the majestic Albert Hall Museum. Opened in 1887 AD, this impressive building displays a rich collection of paintings, carpets, ivory, stone and metal sculpture among other objects. The Jaipur became more fascinating with the Garland Forts like AMER: Amer is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, it sprawls on the hillside. JAIGARH :Jaigarh , or the Fort of Victory, is a rugged fort built in 1726. NAHARGARH :It is the first of the three forts. Built in 1734, this fort provides some stunning views of the city down below both during daytime and at night.


Rajasthani Folk In Brief

Authentic in origin, essence of Rajasthan, showcases the oldest traditions of the desert life of Rajasthan, fortifying the message of love and friendship through the art of dance and music.


Rajasthani Folk is packaged with the following dances

  • Chari Nritya
  • Bhawai Nritya
  • Kachi Godhi
  • Ghoomer
  • Tehratali
  • Banjara-Banjari
  • Kathputli
  • Gramin Bhavai
  • Kalbeliya
  • Agni Nritya

Rajasthani Folk Musical Instruments

The musical instruments of Rajasthan are simple but quite unusual. Handcrafted by the musicians themselves they are rather unique. Ercussion : Dholak, Nagara.
Autophonic : Ghanta Thali, Ghungroo, Khartaal.
String : Sarangi,Ektara, Bhapang, Morchang.
Wind : Peli, Algoza, Pauri, Poongi.

Womens Attire: Odhni(Head Coth), An odhni is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, One corner is tucked in the skirt while the other end is taken over the head and right shoulder. Pila/kanchi(Long Blouse), Ghaghra(Skirt), Lahanga(Long Skirt). The Preferred colors are bright red, dazzling yellow, lively green or brillant orange highlighted by a lavish use of sparkling gold and silver zarl or gota.

Men Attire: Pagari (turbine) – A special headgear, Angrakha/Achakan as Upper Garment, Dhoti/Pyjama as Lower Garment make up the male outfit.

Chari Nritya
Dance of the kishangarh area. Dancers choreograph deft patterns with their heads. The performance is made more picturesque with flames and cotton seeds set alight, so that the bobbing heads create streaks of illuminated patterns as they move effortlessly around the floor.



Bhawai Nritya
Bhavai marks itself as an amazing feature of the cultural scene of Rajasthani Folk practiced in Bikaner. The veiled women dancers balances up to seven to nine brass pitchers with successive stages of their dance, by swiveling/spinning their body elegantly, and then swaying with the soles of their feet perched on top of a tiny glass cup, broken glass pieces, sharp ended nails, edges of Thali and on the edge of a sword with the drum beats. This dance becomes more remarkable as the performer constantly spins gracefully; the hands do a trick by intertwining a piece of cotton cloth, a paper, needle etc.



Kachi Godhi
Originating from the bandit regions of Shekhawati, the dance is performed for the entertainment of a bridegroom’s party. The dancers wear elaborate costumes that resemble them riding on dummy horses. A vigorous dance, it uses mock fights and the brandishing of swords, nimble sidestepping and pioetting to the music of fifes and drums. Aballad singer usally sings the exploits of the bandit Robin Hoods. The musical instruments used accompany the dance are Banks,Shehnai,Dhol and majira.



Ghoomer
Rajputs community dance, performed by the women, It uses simple , swaying movements to convey the spirit of any auspicious occasion. 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. There is however an amazing grace as the skirts flare slowly while the women twirl in circles, their faces covered by veli.



Tehratali
Devotional form of dance , which is practiced by the Kamad community of Pokhran and Deedwana. The lady dancers sits on the floor and ties thirteen (13) manjeeras (little brass discs) to their wrists, elbows, waists, arms and a pair in their hands as well with long strings with which the striking for manjeeras with dexterous fine movements to create a strong rhythm. For added effect, they may hold a sword between their teeth or balance pots or lighted lamps on their heads.



Banjara - Banjari Dance
This dance is mainly done in between the young couples to convert their love story into love marriage, or in between the newly married couple to make their partner feel comfortable by promising her good life by luring her the Jewellery and new clothes. And also when wife-husband battle arises the partner convinces the partner by praising.



Kathputli (Puppet Dance)
Kathputli is a puppet dance which is a very popular in the Bikaner Shekhwati region of Rajasthan. A travelling form of entertainment, it uses the ballads, retold in the voice of the puppeteer who is assisted by his family in erecting a make shift stage. Puppet are strung on the stage and recount historic anecdotes, replay tale of love and include much screeching and high pitched sounds as the puppets twirl and move frenetically.



Gramin Bhavai
The dancer performs on a brass tumbler It is also a strange mixture of acrobatics and rhythm. The dancer dances (and runs around) with lots of brass tumblers/matkas/pots ie: 7 balanced on top of a glass on his head. He also balances spinning thalis on the tips of swords in each hand, dances on broken glass, swords, edges of a thali, etc etc. It gives you a thrill every single time you watch it".



Kalbeliya Dance
Also known as the Sapera (snake) dance, performed by Kalbeliya community (snake charmer’s) , most serious & vigorous dance from of Rajasthan. As they spin in a circle, their bodies sway acrobatically, especially the neck movement. The sapera dancers are usually tall and wear long, black skirts embroidered with the silver ribbons. The musical instruments used for the dance are Bean and the large Dhol (drum).



Agni Nrityai
If there is divine perception to be offered, the jasaniths of Bikaner and Churu in Rajasthan must be responsible for cornering most of it. A large ground is prepared with live wood and charcoal where the Jasnathi men and boys jump on to the fire to the accompaniment of drum beats. The music gradually rises in tempo and reaches a crescendo, the dancers seem to be in a trance like state. The dancers blow fire from the mouth of wards off evil. These devotional performances are usually to be seen late on a winter’s night .

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