Rajasthani music is very famous not only in India but also in the world. Music & dance are deeply integr
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 lightning and melodious sound in accompaniment to the music of the Bhopas, Kalbeliyas, Langas and the Mananiyars. Professional performers like the Bhatts, Bholis, Mirasis, Nat, Bhands are omnipresent across the state.
The people of Rajasthan live life to the hilt. After hard work under the scorching sun rays and on the rocky terrain whenever they take time off, they let themselves go in gay abandon. There is dancing, singing, drama, devotional music and puppet shows and other community festivities which transform the hardworking Rajasthanis into a fun-loving and carefree individual. Each region has its own folk entertainment, the dance styles differ as do the songs, interestingly enough, and even the musical instruments are different.
They are patronised by the villagers who participate actively in the shows put up by these travelling entertainers. Their amazingly rich music has an extraordinary full individually, tradition and exotic flavour, which gives a distinctive feature and quality to their musical sounds. They have songs for every occasion with rich emotional content, almost an endless variety of tunes, quite a few delightful dance forms, and a large number of musical instruments, all a collective creation of the folks which is retained by them in its traditional form and character and passed from one generation to the other.
Rajasthani dances are a spectacular celebration of life and colour. The Thar Desert of Rajasthan gets life with its musicians and dancers, which are simple expressions of celebrations and festivity. The dancers, the dances and costumes have made Thar the most colourful 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.
Fire Dance: The Jasanthis of Bikaner and Chum are renowned for their tantric powers and this dance is in keeping with their lifestyle. A large ground is prepared with their live wood and charcoal where the Jasnathi men and boys jump on to the fire to the drum beats. The music gradually rises in tempo and reaches a crescendo; the dancers seem to be in a trance like state.
Ghoomer Dance: This is basically a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions. Derived from the word the “Ghooma”, this is a very simple dance where the ladies move gently, gracefully, in circles.
Giat Ghoomer: This one is one of the many dance-forms of the Bhil-tribal. Performed during Holi festival this is among a few performances where both men and women dance together.
TerahTali: Performed by the female dancers while sitting, Terahtali is one of the fabulous dance forms. In this the women ties little brass discs called ‘manjeerans’ with long strings to their hands, arms, wrists, waists, and elbows. While their male partners sing and play ‘tandoora’, the women with manjeerans create a strong rytham with perfect balanced dance moves.
Chari Dance: This is popular in the Kisherigarh region and involves dancing with a Chari, or pot, on one’s head. A lighted lamp is then placed on the pot. Kachchi Ghodi: This is a dance performed on dummy horses. Men in elaborate costumes ride the equally well decorated dummy horses. Holding naked swords, these dancers move rhythmically to the beating of drums. A singer narrates the exploits of the Bavaria bandits of Shekhawati.
Drum Dance: 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 in his mouth and performs vigorously by twirling three painted sticks.