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5 popular folk dances from Maharashtra

This land is filled with exquisite culture and tradition. So are its folk dances. The plethora of folk dances is still prevalent and enthralls the audience with a wide variety of costumes, colors and ornaments. Some of the most popular folk dances from Maharashtra are as following:

Lavani- Most prominent of folk dances from Maharashtra

This is one of the most popular dances in Maharashtra. The word Lavani is derived from the word “lavanya” meaning beauty. Women perform this dance in their traditional attire called nauveri or a nine yard saree.

Women dance to the beats of the dholak or the instrument similar to a drum. It is fascinating how women dance elegantly draping this nine yard saree. In earlier days, this dance was performed for the relaxation of the tired soldiers of the Maratha army.

folk dances from Maharashtra- Lavani
Lavani (Source: http://images.indiatvnews.com)

Tamasha

Tamasha is one more of folk dances from Maharashtra that combines romantic music along with the lavani dance. Tamasha in Persian means fun and entertainment. The themes of the dance are based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

There are two main forms of this Tamasha dance- one is the ballad singing and other is the theatrical performance of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. This dance also thrives in the region of Konkan and Goa.

folk dances from Maharashtra
Tamasha (Source: http://www.indianfolkdances.com/)

Koli

This dance pertains to the fisher folk of the Koli district of Maharashtra. This dance symbolises the lives of the fishermen. Both men and women take part in this dance. The movement depicts catching fishes using nets and rowing of the boats used for fishing.

The dance is filled with the dancers wearing costumes which portray the fisher folk community. Women wear green sarees and men wear lungis. The performance is in rows or pairs. There are many songs used in this dance form. The dancers show their hardships and struggles faced in their livelihood through this dance.

Mythical India Maharashtra folk dance culture
Koli (Source: http://dance.anantagroup.com)

Dindi

This dance is a religious dance performed on the day of Ekadasi in the month of Kartik. This dance symbolises the devotion and love of Lord Krishna. This dance portrays Lord Krishna performing naughty deeds and having a playful nature.

The dancers dance in sync with the drum movements known as Dindi. The dance is ful of energy and vigour and created enthusiasm among the dancers who dance according to the music.

The dancers mainly form geometric patterns and hold a flag with the symbol of the Sun or the Monkey god- Lord Hanuman.

Mythical India Maharashtra folk dance culture
Dindi (Source: http://www.indtravel.com/)

Dhangari Gaja

This dance is performed by the shepherd community called the Dhangars belonging to the Sholapur district of Maharashtra. The shepherds graze their cattle in the pastures and become acquainted with the nature. Their bucolic life style is brought into their music and poetry.

The poetry consists of couples called Ovi glorifying the birth of the God Biruba. This dance is performed to appease their Lord. The dancers wear colourful tunics, dhoti, and handkerchiefs and sway in sync to the beats of the drum.

Mythical India Maharashtra folk dance culture
Dhangari Gaja (Source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-wKL-BPiZqM/hqdefault.jpg)

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