The music and dance of Rajasthan find their influences in its folk art traditions, the long rule by Rajputs and also its tribal traditions. Rajasthan also has a number of musical instruments that are native to this place. Among the large number of musical instruments that find a place in Rajasthan’s music, tinklers, kettledrums, flutes, trumpets, resonators and several bowing or plucking devices, all are quite notable.
Ghoomar is a known dance form of Rajasthan with history going back to the times of kings. During the dance, women wear traditional attires with heavy jewellery and perform various dance moves by swaying & clapping the hands. Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of Bhil tribe who perform to it worship Goddess Sarasvati.
Bhavai dance includes women balancing a number of brass or earthen pots on the head. This dance form is extremely exciting to watch with great hand gestures. Dancers even balance their boding on a plate and on the edge of a weapon.
Also known as “Sapera Dance”, Kalbelia is recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage. This tribal dance is an integral part of Kalbelia culture. The dance includes women wearing flowing black skirts dancing and swirling. The male participants play musical instruments like pungi, dufli, been, or khanjari. Kalbelia songs are inspired from folklore and mythology.
This traditional dance is performed by the Kishangarh and Saini communities. They perform Chari or Pot Dance during their festivals. The dance shows women with a brass pot on their head with a lighted lamp in it. The dance includes skills and different patterns which are interesting to watch.
Kachhi Ghodi is dance performed by men to represent tales of Bandits of Shekhawati region. Men performers can be seen wearing dhoti, turbans, and kurtas as they ride on puppet horses.
Gair is folk dance of the Bhil community performed especially during Holi and Janmashtami. Both men and women participate in this dance form by wearing traditional attires. Men can be seen wearing long skirts with sticks in their hands.
Fire dance is extremely fascinating to watch. It requires skills and is performed by only professionals.
Just as Rajasthanis decorate their homes, their animals and their own selves, they also embellish their musical instruments. The distinct sounds of Rajasthan’s music and songs have found favor with people from across the world and also in the Indian film industry. Several tribal and rural communities are traditionally the musicians and singers since the days when the royal families patronized the arts. These communities include Joshi, Chipas, Nayak, Jogi and Dholi. A tradition of Rajasthan that must find mention here is that of Phad. Phad is a form of a painting as well as a ballad. In both these forms, Phads tell of devotional stories. Maand is also a unique singing form of Rajasthan.
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