Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Comparative study of Lavani and Other Folk Dances of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is a state rich in culture and tradition.Apart from lavani there are a number of other folk dances in Maharashtra, such as Dhangari Gaja, Koli, Dindi, Kala, Povodas etc. Though all the Dance forms belong to the same state, these forms are easily distinguishable from each other. Each dance form rich and vibrant in its movements, costumes and expression.

Every Community in Maharashtra has its own fully developed system of music, art and dance. If Lavani belongs to Mahar and Matang community, meant for the entertainment of tired soldiers, Dhangri Gaja belongs to the shepherd community or Dhangars, Koli belongs uniquely to the community of fishermen .

However each dance form is one way or the other is dedicated to the praise of God or some great leader of past. Povodas is the Ballads of Maharashtra praising the adventurous exploits and leadership skills of the great Maratha leader Chatrapati Shivaji. Dindi is a religious Dance narrating the playful behaviour of lord Krishna. Kala is yet another form revelling the misheives and miracles of lord Krishna. But Lavani is the odd one out, as it neither sings of the greatness of any celebrated hero of past nor it is devoted to the praise of the Gods. The subject matter of Lavani is purely amorous. Standing out of the rest, Lavani is an expression of women's sexuality. It deals with topics such as sexual union between lovers, pangs of separation, love between husband and wife, amorous adventures of soldiers etc.Changes have come over time, Lavani today is no more confined to the motifs and themes of love and sex. contemporary lavani dancers have taken up serious social issues like dowry, infanticide, domestic violence, rape and molestation. And this has been possible only because of the flexibility of themes that Lavani offers compared to the rest of the other folk forms of Maharashtra.

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