Folk Dance

Folk Dance News

Know Your Classical Dances: Manipuri Raas Leela, and its exploration of love — both romantic and spiritual
Arts & Culture

Know Your Classical Dances: Manipuri Raas Leela, and its exploration of love — both romantic and spiritual

Not only does the dance form set out to showcase Krishna in his various colours, but also explores the anxieties and predicaments of the gopis through its study of the nayika, or the heroine and her quest to unite with her prana sakha [soulmate].

The Friday List: From a workshop on writing personal histories to solving a murder mystery, your weekly calendar of virtual events
Arts & Culture

The Friday List: From a workshop on writing personal histories to solving a murder mystery, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.

In the gondhal, an attempt to commune with the divine: Unravelling the origins of Maharashtra's folk art form
Life

In the gondhal, an attempt to commune with the divine: Unravelling the origins of Maharashtra's folk art form

The story goes that the dance form known as the ‘gondhal’ was created when the warrior-sage Parashuram, having killed and beheaded the demon Betasur, sewed the sinews of its head into its crown and fashioned a musical instrument out of it. Playing this macabre instrument, Parashuram danced to thunderous, alarming rhythms, in praise of his mother, the Goddess Renuka.

Mangalagaur: In Shravan, women perform dances that celebrate their everyday lives, foster community
Life

Mangalagaur: In Shravan, women perform dances that celebrate their everyday lives, foster community

Tests of strength and stamina, there are over 50 varieties of short, swift mangalagaur dances, performed to rhyming couplets and often executed without any accompanying music.

Hellaro, National Award-winning Gujarati film, is a beautiful ode to female desire and defiance
Entertainment

Hellaro, National Award-winning Gujarati film, is a beautiful ode to female desire and defiance

Abhishek Shah’s Hellaro draws its central conflict from a Kutch folktale about subjugated women meeting a drummer (dholi) in secret and dancing to their heart’s content.

Lavani's lost glory: As art form's 'vulgarity' was condemned, its complexity, social messaging were ignored
Life

Lavani's lost glory: As art form's 'vulgarity' was condemned, its complexity, social messaging were ignored

Beautiful and mesmerising, with a reputation for being notorious, the charms of the lavani were lost in the latter half of the 20th century; the artistes and the dance were deemed unworthy of refined audiences and condemned for portraying the sensuous alone. Yet, lavani — in its most earnest form — not only explored love, beauty and pleasure, but also delivered social messages.

In the rhythmic movements of the warkari-kirtan, Vithoba's devotees seek a way to commune with the divine
Life

In the rhythmic movements of the warkari-kirtan, Vithoba's devotees seek a way to commune with the divine

Over time, and from the unwavering faith of the warkari cult, has emerged the folk dance of the wari — the dindi, or warkari-kirtan.

In the tarpa, the Warli, Malhar Koli and Bhil tribes find a reflection of — and way to celebrate — their natural environments
Life

In the tarpa, the Warli, Malhar Koli and Bhil tribes find a reflection of — and way to celebrate — their natural environments

Warlis, Malhar Kolis and on occasion, the Bhil tribes of Maharashtra, usher in bountiful harvests, festivals and marriages by dancing to the high-pitched tunes of a tarpa.

Performance politics: Not just a dance form, Lavani is a commentary on gender, caste, sex
Life

Performance politics: Not just a dance form, Lavani is a commentary on gender, caste, sex

Lavani has been represented problematically in most existing literature and cinema. To understand why, it might help to understand the politics that the dance associates itself with.