Music and Dance of Rajasthan

Rajasthani music and danceThe music and dance of Rajasthan enjoy a special place in the popular culture of the state as well as the country. The impact can be felt in even in the music of Hindi cinema. Through several Festivals of India held overseas, the music and dance of Rajasthan have also found recognition among people of other nationalities. No visit to Rajasthan is complete without experiencing a performance of Rajasthan's music and dance.

The folk music and dance of Rajasthan are performed by several tribes of Rajasthan who have kept these traditions alive. The royals were huge patrons of the arts and these performances took place in the courts. The themes of the music and songs of Rajasthan are heroic as well as romantic and devotional. Professional singers of Rajasthan sing haunting ballads about Moomal Mahendra, Dhola - Maru and other legendary lovers and heroes.

The musical instruments of Rajasthan are simple but quite distinct from the other instruments found in India. Handcrafted by the musicians themselves, they include instruments like the Morchang, Naad, Sarangi, Kamayacha, Rawanhattha, Algoza, Khartal, Poongi, Bankia, and Daf.

The folk dances of Rajasthan are just as captivating. Performed by brightly attired men and women, these dances are a visual delight. The folk dances are enriched with folktales, proverbs and riddles and are performed to the accompaniment of folk music. Walar is an important dance of the Garasia community, and is a prototype of Ghoomar dance. This dance is rhythmic and is generally accompanied by the beats of the mandal, chang, and several other musical instruments.

Ghoomar is a community dance for women and is performed on auspicious occasions. This is a very simple dance wherein the ladies move gently and gracefully in circles. Gair Ghoomar is one of the many dance-forms of the Bhil tribal community and is performed during Holi festival. This is among a dance styles where both men and women dance together. Gair is a Holi dance performed only by men. This is known as Dandia Gair in Jodhpur and Geendad in Shekhawati. Another dance is the Fire Dance, where a large ground is prepared with live wood and charcoal. The music gradually rises in tempo and reaches a crescendo; the dancers seem to be in a trance like state.


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