Rajasthan is well famous for its vibrant traditions, enthusiastic dance forms and elegant culture. Ghoomar is just another spectacle of this diversity and culture that started with the Bhil tribe to worship Goddess Sarasvati and is now embraced by other Rajasthani communities. Typically performed by women, Ghoomar gained popularity during the reign of Rajputanas, who ruled Jaipur after defeating the Bhils. It showcases the rich culture of Rajasthan through aesthetically pleasing movement and traditional attire. Tourism in Rajasthan has boosted due to the peculiarities of regions, their manner of dressing, traditions, and folk dances. Ghoomar was a tribal dance that graduated to a folk routine that has now assumed international proportions thanks to a vibrant culture and its recognition as a pride of India.
Author: Sezal Chug
Nautanki is one of South Asia’s most famous folk theatre performances, especially in northern India. Nautanki was the most significant source of entertainment in most of the cities and villages in north India. Nautanki’s rich musical compositions and humorous storylines hold a strong influence over rural people’s imagination. Nautanki, also known as svang, originated in the late 19th century in Uttar Pradesh and steadily gained popularity. Nautanki’s origins lie in the Saangit, Bhagat, and Swang musical theatre traditions of Northern India. One Saangit called Saangit Rani Nautanki Ka became so popular that the whole genre’s name became Nautanki.
Yakshagana is a traditional folk art developed in the western parts of Chikmagalur districts in Karnataka and Kasaragod district in Kerala. Yakshagana comprises music, dance, theatre, costumes, and makeup with a blend of unique style and forms. It is said to have evolved from pre-classical music forms and theatrical arts during the Bhakti movement. Yakshgana is referred to as ‘Thenku thittu’ towards the south from Dakshina Kannada to Kasaragod in Tamil Nadu, whereas it is referred to as ‘Badaga Thittu’ north of Udupi.
Raas Leela, commonly referred to as Krishna dance, is a folk dance form that predates ancient history and is part of the traditional stories of Krishna in which he dances with his lover, Radha. Raas means aesthetics, and Leela means to act or play, which translates to “play of aesthetics”.
Tamasha is considered a major traditional dance form of the Marathi theatre, which includes celebration filled with dancing and singing and is performed mainly by nomadic theatre groups throughout the Maharashtra region. Marathi theatre marked its journey at the beginning of 1843.3 In the following years, Tamasha primarily consisted of singing and dancing, expanded its range.
Bihu is a merry dance emphasizes the Assamese tradition’s cultural roots symbolizing the beginning of the agricultural season in the Northern parts of India. It represents the integral relationship between agriculture and fertility and embodies growth and celebrates bountiful harvests and abundance. These traditions of songs and dances depict the feeling of support and love of the community with each other.
One of India’s famous classical dances that represent the historical enchantress avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu was developed in Kerala called Mohiniyattam. The Mohini myth forms the heart of every Mohiniyattam performance as it stands for good prevailing over evil. It utilizes the sign language (mudra) to expressing emotions through a musical performance wherein the performer identifies herself with the character and resonates her sentiments.
Kathakali is a major classical dance form from Ancient India. It is a “story play” of art that includes elaborate, colourful makeup, beautiful mesmerizing costumes and face masks traditionally performed by male dancers. It is a Hindu folk dance performed in the Malayalam speaking southwest region of Kerala. Kathakali combines drama, dance, music, storytelling, costumes, makeup and devotion into a divided experience. It brings humanity into Hinduism and expresses emotions beyond words.
Folk music, dance and theatre represent the traditions and cultural richness of an area. It sheds light on rural life, which is closely associated with inherent customs. Uttrakhand has a vibrant culture, and the diverse, authentic folk dance forms reflect the same. Folklore of Uttarakhand represent the love, passion, agony, sacrifice, misery, and compassion of these locals and help us relate to them to share their feelings.
Kuchipudi is one of the major Indian classical dance folk forms performed in India. It derives its name from its village of origin, Kuchelapuram and is one of the favourite dance forms of Lord Krishna. Kuchipudi is known for its fast rhythms and fluid movements, creating a blend of delicacy and strength. Kuchipudi has for sure occupied a special place among other Indian classical dance forms by being a country-wide celebrated dance folk form and is recognized worldwide in many international traditional festivals.