Rajasthan Music & Dances
Rajasthan is culturally rich and has extensive tradition in art and culture,
which reflects Indian way life. The dance, music and art forms have been watchfully
cultivated and patronised by the erstwhile courts. An equally rich and varied
folk culture from villages is both fascinating & mesmerising. The music
is of uncomplicated innocence and songs depict day-to-day relationships and
chores more often focal around bring of water. Rajasthan's cultural tapestry
takes in simple folk to highly cultivated classical music and dance in its own
sung by women is mostly about water and the style is called panihari. It depicts
daily chores and is cantered around the well. in arid area like Rajasthan water
is of immense significance. Some of the folk songs also talk about chance encounter
with their lover. Some even have snipes at the incorrigible mothers-in-law and
Music here, also has strong religious flavour and is sung in dedication to various
deities. Some religious songs are folk idioms of Saints, Surdas, Kabirdas, Meerabai
and others. These songs are mostly heard in nightlong soirées.
The accompanying instruments are of various varieties to repercussion, string
and wind and even common use utilities like bells, thali (metal dishes) and
Music traditions are kept alive by entertainer like the Langas, Manganniyars,
Mirasis and Dholis. The education in music of these groups began early and passed
down from generation to generation. The folk musicians are apt in classical
tradition. Songs normally began with an alap, which set the tune of the song
and then recital of the couplet that is called the dooba. The songs also have
the taan, the pitch and the tibias -the triplet, which lends variance to the
Ballad traditions of Rajasthan are also of great attention. Here bards sing
heroic tales of folk heroes like Tejaji, Gogaji and Ramdeoji. They sing and
narrate heroic tales of battles and even of legendary lovers and their tragedies.
To distinctive category in this tradition are the 'Phad' and the puppetry.
The Thar Desert of Rajasthan comes alive when its dancers take the center stage.
Rajasthan has great variety of dances, which are simple expressions of celebration
and festivity. The dancers, the dances and costumes have made Thar the
colorful desert in the world. Each region adding its own form of dance styles
and performers. There are dances that follows a lineage of age old traditions,
adhere to religious significance, display their daring attitude as well as complimenting
various fairs and festivals.
Ghoomar, a community dance for women performed on auspicious occasions. Gair
Ghoomar, Raika, Jhoria and Gauri are particularly of Bhil tribe. Gair is performed
on Holi but only by the men folk. Chari dance, with pots on the head and a lighted
lamp, is popularly performed on marriage occasions or on the birth of a male
child. Kalbelia dance is of the kalbelia tribe, the snake charmers. With numerous
pots on the head, women excel the balancing act in the Matka-bhawai. Terah taali,
is a ritual for Baba Ramdev, a dance with thirteen manjiras. Other dances are
Kachhi-Ghodi, Kathputli (the puppet dance), Fire dance, drum dance and various
others pertaining to the particular tribes. Kathhak, a popular dance form being
imported from Uttar Pradesh have been revived by the rajputana courts, with
a style and theme of its own.
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