Music and dance are
deeply ingrained in Rajasthani life. The stillness of the
desert evening and the upsurge of life in the short- lived
rainy season or spring are filled with soulful, full- throated
music and rhythmic dance, Instruments such as sarangi,
kamaycha, satara, nad, and morchang create a wide range of
liting and melodious sound in accompanment to the music of the
Bhopas, Kalbeliyas, Langas and the Manganiyars as well as the
lively and spontaneous dances, ghoomar, gair and chari.
Through songs the legendary battles of the Rajputs are told.
The music engenders both a spirit of identity and provides
entertainment as relief from the daily grind of wrenching a
living from the inhospitable land of heat and dust storms.
Music There is a great tradition of
popular poetry, which is written under the rival banners of
Turru and Kalangi. This is a sung in groups in Jikri,
Kanhaiyya or Geet, Hele-ke-Khyal and Bam Rasiya of Eastern
Rajasthan. The Folk music of Rajasthan is an indispensible
component of functions such as weddings, engagements, and
births. There is a plethora of songs for such occasions.
There are also many songs associated with planting and
harvesting. In these activities the villagers routinely sing
of their hopes, fears and aspirations. These songs are best
enjoyed in the Ratijagas- the nightlong soirees of devotional
songs which induces a trance-like spiritual milieu. Other
traditional songs that reflect the rich traditional heritage
of Rajasthan include Endooni, Morubai, Diggipura ka raja,
Dhola dhol majira baje re. Folk songs of Rajasthan depict
various moods including loneliness of lovers, their union,
inter-personal relationship, laughter, faith and happiness.
Folk music is also used for educational purposes.
Flutes and bagpipers come in local flavors such as Shehnai,
Poongi, Algoza, Tarpi, Been and Bankia.
The haunting melody of Rajasthan
evokes from a variety of delightfully primitive looking
instruments. The stringed variety include the Sarangi,
Rawanhattha, Kamayacha, Morchang and Ektara.Percussion
instruments come in all shapes and sizes from the huge Nagaras
and Dhols to the tiny Demrus. The Daf and Chang are a big
favorite of the Holi (the festival of colors) revelers
Two or three women sing in a high-pitched, free
flowing voice, while others join in the dance. The vigorous
and zestful display of their perfect movements to the
enchanting tune of musical instruments is a treat to the eyes.
This fascinating kalbelia dance is performed by the women of
Kalbelia community, age-old occupation being catching snakes
and trading snake venom. Hence the dance movements and the
costumes bear resemblance to that of the serpents. Dancers are
attired in traditional black swirling skirts, sway sinuously
to the accompaniment of pungi, dufli and plaintive notes of
the 'been' - the wooden instrument of the snake charmers.
This is basically a community
dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions. Derived
from the word ghoomna, piroutte, this is a very simple dance
where the ladies move gently, gracefully in circles. The
Ghoomar is the characteristic dance of the Bhils. Men and
women sing alternately and move clockwise & anticlockwise
giving free and intended play to the ample folds of ghagra.
The Kucchi Ghodi:-
Free dancing full of zest, with
rows of dancers waving colourful pennants makes the Bam Rasiya
of the Braj region spectacular. It is performed at Holi. The
‘Kucchhi Ghodi’ or dummy horse dance is performed on festive
occasions, by men who are as colourfuly attired, as are their
Caari or pot Dance:-
This dance requires a lot
of patience and balance. The dancers carry brightly lit brass
pots on their heads, displaying many flexible movements of the
body. It is a dance of gay occassions.
This is one of the many dance-forms of the Bhil tribals.
Performed during Holi festival, this is among a few
performances where both men and women dance together.
Terah Taal (Thirteen
This is a dance of professional expertise where the dancer
performs with the help of hollow metallic discs (Manjeeras)
tied on the hands, legs and foreheads - a thirteen different
places. The performers, mostly ladies, start beating these
manjeeras at thirteen different places in rhythms with the
The Jasnathis of Bikaner and Churu
are renowned for their tartaric power and this dance is in
keeping with their lifestyle. 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.
This is a professional dance-form
from Jalore. Five men with huge drums round their necks, some
with huge cymbals accompany a dancer who holds a naked sword
in his mouth and performs vigourously by twirling three