Rajasthan Music and Dance

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Bhavai: Art of balance amongst Rajasthani dance forms

This is one of the most difficult traditional dance forms of Rajasthan. Women and men carry 8-9 earthen pots or brass pitchers on their head and swaying to the rhythm of the song. Only extremely skilled professionals can perform this dance.
This folk dance is performed by the traditional community of Jats, Kumhars, Meenas, Raigars and so on. This dance is said to be originated from Gujarat.This Rajasthani dance form portrays the life of the women in the desert. They have to walk miles and miles carrying pots on their heads in search of water.

This dance aptly describes the harsh life faced by the women folk of Rajasthan.Performers also dance atop a sword, glass or on the edges of the brass plate. Their sheer balance along with their dazzling smiles captivates the audience. This dance is performed during festivals and occasions. Bhavai dance has been aggressively promoted by the Government of Rajasthan.

Rajasthani Dance with Fire

This dance is predominant in the Bikaner and Charu districts of Rajasthan and is performed during cold winters. The dance is performed in a large ground with wood and charcoal laid on top of the ground. Men dance and jump on this charcoal laden ground merrily oblivious to the audience’s surprise.Even more surprising is the fact that these dancers are completely unharmed by the fire after the dance. This adds a supernatural effect to this dance.The music and the dance start slowly in tempo and ends on a high pitch. The dancers seem to be in a state of trance during this high crescendo.

Gair Dance

This dance is performed during the festival of Holi and is popular in the western region of Rajasthan and performed primarily by the community of Bhil.This dance requires highly skilled professionals and the movement and sound of the stick shows their professionalism. A simpler version of this dance is performed by half swirl movement. This dance is performed by chanting the name priyanka.The dancers beat with sticks in rhythm when they turn or swirl. Generally dancers dance in circles in this dance. This dance is also performed during Janmashtami- the birth of Lord Krishna.

Khayal Dance

This Rajasthani dance comprises of various themes. The word Khyal means thoughts. Khyal is a dance involving folk play. This dance is extremely old but is performed with full vigour by the people of the Bhawai community of Rajasthan.This dance has extreme influence of the great Indian epics- the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. This dance is a freedom of expression of the people. This dance has high elements of mockery, mimicry and irony. The dancers performing the dance are multifaceted in nature.Women generally do not take part in this dance. This dance also portrays the various social problems and in turn makes people aware of their own rights and fight for their betterment.


Ghoomar is a Rajasthani Dance developed and performed by the Bhil tribe of Rajasthan. The dance now is renowned in the whole country. Ghoomar is performed by women who wear swirling robes and accompanied by men, women singing together.The folk dance is a way to worship the goddess Saraswati. The name Ghoomar is derived from Hindi word ‘Ghoomna’. The amazing Ghagra (Long skirts worn by Rajasthani women) makes the folk dance gracious. The female dancers have their faces covered with the help of a veil. Thus, they use measured steps, graceful inclinations and clapping while singing to the music.

Kalbelia Dance

This ancient dance form is performed by women of the Kalbelia community who, by profession, are snake charmers and trade in snake venom. This ancient dance form has dance movements similar to the movements of the serpents and hence, even the costumes are black colored. Interestingly,women dance on the music produced by the ‘Been’, an instrument used to charm the snakes. This is an extremely sensuous dance form which completely enthralls the onlookers.the Kalbelias have been pushed out of their traditional profession of snake handlingToday, performing arts are a major source of income for them.

Chari Dance

This traditional dance form requires lots of skill and patience as this dance is performed with pots on the head and lamps in the hand of the dancers. In such a state, the dancers perform several flexible and graceful movements of the body. This dance is performed on gay occasions, like marriage or birth of a child.

Kacchi-Ghodi Dance

Kacchi-Ghodi, or the dummy horse dance, originated from the bandit regions of Shekhawati. The dancers are elaborately dressed, and so are the dummy horses, which perform sword fighting sequences with utmost vigor.A ballad singer usually sings the tales of chivalrous men. This dance form is generally performed on gay occasions.It has since been adopted and performed throughout the rest of the country. Dancers wear novelty horse costumes, and participate in mock fights, while a singer narrates folk tales about local bandits.

Terah Taal (Thirteen Beat) Dance

The Terah Taal dance is a beautiful musical dance in which the dancers place manjeeras (little brass discs) on their waist, legs, hands and forehead, at least thirteen places on their body. This dance is performed as a kind of ritual to please Baba Ramdeo, a local deity of Rajasthan.