The folk dance of Rajasthan can be divided into three categories:
REGIONAL FOLK DANCES
1. Geendar Dance
- It is performed during Holi festival for a duration of a week.
- The dance begins after the Prahlad and Holika is set up.
- It is completely a male dance. Some participants dress up in female attire who are known as Gangaur.
- It is famous in the region of Shekhawati such as Churu, Ramgarh, Sujangarh, Lakshamangarh, Sikar.
2. Dandia Dance
- It is a male dance which is performed in Marwar region after Holi festival.
- There is a group of twenty to twenty-five persons in the group who dance in a circle with sticks in their both hands.
3. Dhol Dance
- It is performed on marriage occasion among castes like Mali, Bheel, Dholi, and Sargada.
- Sargadas and Dholis of Jalore region are professional folk singers and drum players of this dance.
- It is purely a male dance done on the beats of 4-5 drums.
- The head person starts it with beating the drum in Thakna style and then other persons join in with the sword in mouth, sticks and handkerchiefs in hands dancing on the rhythm.
4. Agni Dance
- This dance form originated in Katariyasar village of Bikaner.
- It involves people dancing around the blaze of the embers breaking a ploughing tool used in watermelon farming called as ‘Maitra’.
- It is performed by the followers of the Jasnathi cult and people of Jat caste.
- The night-jagrans begins with Dhuna and followed by a dance paying homage to their Guru Jasnath chanting Fateh-Fateh.
5. Bum Dance
- It is performed by male members to welcome the spring season.
- A typical kind of instrument called Bum is played which is two feet high and wide.
- Along with Bum other instruments like Dholak, Manjeera, Khartaal, Thali and Chimata are played.
- They sing and dance on the tune called Bumrasia.
6. Ghoomar Dance
- It is the widely popular dance of Rajasthan performed by women on festivals and weddings
- The dance costume is ‘lehnga’ which beautifully expands with movements.
- It is performed on the tune of ‘Kaharwa’, played on drum beats comprising eight Matras called Sawai.
- Other instruments played along are Shehnai, Dhol and Nagara.
7. Gair Dance
- A popular dance of Mewar- Barmer region played using sticks in hands.
- It begins from the day after Holi and continues for next 15 days.
- A group of male dancers who are known as ‘Geriye’, performs in the circular movement.
8. Bindauri Dance
- It is similar to Gair dance performed in Jhalawar region.
- They dance at the time of Holi and marriage functions.
CASTE FOLK DANCE
1. Gavari Dance
- A combination of dance and drama performed during the months of Sawan and Bhadon.
- In this dance, Shiva is the main character while other dancers gather around him holding trishuls in their hands.
- They dance on the beats of Maandal and Thali.
- The dance is also popularly known as Raie Dance.
- Lord Shiva is addressed by the name of ‘Puria’.
Garasia men and women of Sirohi district perform it on the marriage occasion.
A slow tempo dance is done without any musical instrument.
The men and women are positioned respectively in outer and inner of a semi-circle.
Ladies put their hands on the shoulder of the person right next to him.
The dance is initiated by a person with an umbrella or sword in hand.
Chari (Kalash) is a utensil on which a lamp is placed. Women carry this on their head while dancing.
It is commonly performed among Gurjars in Kishangarh area.
Other instruments used are Dhol, Thali, and Baankia to produce the musical tune.
One of such popular Chari Dancer is Phalkoo Bai of Kishangarh.
It is performed in Udaipur region by male and female artists.
This professional dance is a fusion of dance with an instrumental play where the amazing physical movements on rhythm mesmerize the audience.
The dancers toss up the colorful turbans in the air, make lotus flowers using fingers, seven eight pitchers are put on head while handkerchief are kept on the ground.
Some famous styles are Shankaria, Surdas, Bori, Lodi, Badi, Bikaji, Dhokari, and Dholamaru.
In this dance form, women perform while men play instruments like Manjira, Taanpura, and Chautara.
It is specially performed by the people of the Kamar caste.
They dedicate this performance to worship Baba Ramdev.
Bheels perform this dance on the third day of the Holi.
Men try to grab the coconut tied upon a fixed in the ground. They are stopped by women with sticks in their hands who surround the pole.
A dance with beautiful coordination where two lines of four people each make forward and backward movement to create illusion of eight people in one line at the same time.
They also give it a look of flower spreading its petals.
A famous dance of Shekhawati and Dhundhari region performed on the occasion of Holi.
An instrument called ‘Chung’ is used to produce music.
A purely women dance of females of Garasia tribe.
It is performed in Sirohi and Udaipur district.
Shankaria – A dual dance of Kalbelia people.
Paniyari – A dual song based on Paniyari style of song.
Indoni – Dancers wear a wrapped cloth as coil on their head to carry a pitcher to dance. It uses Poongi and Khanjari instruments.
Bagadia – Kalbelia women perform it entertain and collect alms.
Women perform it in Marwar region to go door-to-door to ask for Ghee and oil to fill the Ghudla.
A Ghudla is a kind of decorated vessel or pitcher which is carried on the head while performing.
Dance of Kanjars
Chakari – it is popular in Hadauti region. Small and young girls dance on the tune of Dhap. Manjeera and Nagada. A famous artist of this form is Falku Bai.
Dhakad – A daring and bold dance done to show the military arts using armed weapons.
Men dressed as women perform this dance on Diwali.
It is popular in Bangaur region.
Emotions of females are displayed by men gracefully.
Different musical instruments such as Dhol, Kundi, Thali are played.