Folk Dances of Rajasthan
Continuing my study on ‘Dances of India: Folk Dances’, I now write on Rajasthan where folk dances can be seen in abundance but they are mostly popular with the village community.
Gindad: This is a stick dance in which young people gather 2 weeks before the festival Holi and dance in celebration.
Khayal: Nagoju Jatto composed this Folk dance about 400 years ago. It is a difficult dance for which a professional dance team is organized. The main themes of the dance are the ancient epics of love and sacrifice of legendary lovers like Dhola and Maru.
Kataputouri: This folk dance is done in a puppet style. A professional dance repertory usually performs this dance and later makes a trip to Assam.
Jhumar: This is a tribal dance of Birus tribe. It is danced both by men and women forming a circle.
Ger Dance: This folk dance belongs to Bhil tribe. It is a lively and a strong dance and is presented with a long cane.
Ghummar: This is a mixture of Jhumar and Ger dance.
Bagria Dance: This is a dance of broom makers. It is enjoyed for its unique rhythm.
Shankeriya: This dance is built around an archetypal love tale in which a man loves a woman who already has a lover. Men and women dance forming a circle.
Panihari: This is a merry folk dance for young people. Romance is the theme of the dance.
Kamada Dance: This dance belongs to the people of Kamado and expresses a woman’s task with gestures as harvesting, picking corn, etc.
It is similar to a Japanese folk dance called ‘Etchu Ohara-Bushi’.
Kachi Ghodi: This is a semi-puppet dance of northwest Rajasthan. It has similarities to the ‘Komao Dance’ of South Japan. It is admired for the many roles it makes the performers enact.
Folk Dances of Orissa
Moving towards the South of India, following are the folk dances of Orissa:
Jadur Dance: This is a prayer dance for rich harvest. People collect on a hill to please the GOD of wine and later drink wine made from rice and throw liquor from the hill as an offering to the God. They believe that the direction in which the liquor is running will earn a rich harvest.
Karam (Bhoomiyas): Karam means happiness. This dance is a prayer for rich harvest and good fortune. Dancers bring a tree and plant it in a pot of clay. They put rice and other seeds in it as a meaning of good fortune. Later they bury it in the root of the tree. Mundri and Muria’s are other similar folk dances.
Maheshwari: This is a group dance with a story that tells an interesting myth in which Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva entice men and women. Baigas, Gandaba and Kondi are other folk dances of note.