The Desert Region
The Ghoomar also called Jhumar may be described as the national dance
of the women of Rajasthan. It is a collective dance in which hundreds
of women can join and dance in giant circle. It is performed on festive
days in middle-class families in Udaipur, Jodhpur and Kota Bundi areas.
In Udaipur, it resembles the Garva of neighbouring Gujarat and is very
musical. In Jodhpur, the movement of the limbs are jerky. The Ghoomar
of Kota Bundi is very lively and impressive. The tune of the song which
accompanies this dance is melodious and catchy.
The fire-dance of the Siddha Jats of
Bikaner is remarkable for its sensational and awe-inspiring impact. Maharaja
Ganga Singh of Bikaner was a great patron of the fire dancers who inhabit
Katriasar, Bhamlu, Dikamdesar and other villages. The fire dancers make
a born-fire to the beating of drums, the playing of the bher and the singing
of a song. Inspired by tumultuous music, the dancers, including old men
and even children jump on to the fire and dance over it. As the dance,
gathers tempo, they lift burning coals and throw them on others but do
jot cause any injury. The dance lasts half an hour, it does not leave
burns on the dancers.
The drum dancers of Jalore are professionals. It is performed
during marriages, this male dance is a synthesis of various folk dances.
Four or five drums are beaten simultaneously and one of the dancers holds
a sword between his teeth, another carries sticks in his hands, a third
swings handkerchiefs from his arms and the remaining simply make movements
to the rhythm of the dance.
The Teratali is a peculiar dance-form of the desert
and Deedwana and Pokaran are its centres. Those who practices this dance-form
are known as Kamads and the party usually consists of two men and two
women. The men play the ektara and sing, while the women produce musical
notes from the manjiras tied to various parts of their bodies. The postures
and the twists of the body necessary to extract musical rings from the
manjira are very difficult to perform.
The Kachhi Ghori dance of marwar performed to the beat
of the dhol and turhi by four or five dancers during marriage, presents
a scene of warriors riding horses.
The dancers of the Kan-Gujari are mendicants who describe
themselves as incarnations of Radha-Krishna. They beg from door to door,
singing to the tunes of the Ravanhattya and dancing with highly artistic
The Bhopas are a minstrel community divided into five
sects. They also dance and Bhopas of Gogaji, Mataji and Bhaironji go into
such ecstasy while dancing that they sometimes become unconscious.