Monday, August 20, 2018
Rajasthan

Arts

Dance

Eastern Region

The eastern part of Rajasthan adjoins the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh and probably because of this affinity retains a rich tradition of Ras-Lila, Ram-Lila, Nautanki and other dance forms.

The community dance of Gindar is a night-long affair on the occasion of Holi. It is a democratic dance in which caste Hindus and Harijans join hands in a circle in the centre of which the nagara is played on a wooden platform. Starting on a low note, the nagaras reach a high pitch and with every beat of the nagara, the dancers strike their sticks and ring ghungroos tied to their legs. 

The Kanjars and the Sansis are two ex-criminal tribes of Rajasthan whose women are good dancers. The dancers of the Sansi women are disorderly, individualistic and vulgour and they perform them for every meagre payment. 

The Gher Ghemur of the Sansis is the simplest of the dances, both in content and form. It begins with a slow movement where men and women first dance in two separate lines and then form a circle with man and women alternately. The tempo of the dance increases gradually to a point where each person has both a rotating movements around his own axis, as also a revolving movement along the circumference of the circle. The hip movements are the most characteristic feature of this dance. There is both instrumental and vocal music accompaniment to this dance. The dance is vigorous and there are no languorous movements.

The Kanjar women, though Muslim but look life Hindus and decorate their bodies with many kinds of cheap metal ornaments and beads. They sing well and dance exuberantly. Their males play on the chang and dholak. One of their dances is performed with lathis. They also dance for a living on festivals life Holi and Diwali.

The dances of the Nayaks, Chamars and Mehtars are very attractive and full of life and vitality. 

The Kachhi Ghori dance in eastern Rajasthan is virtually a battle-dance in which riders of cloth or paper' horses' moving in a circle strike blows at each other and demonstrate the use of sword and the shield. As the name implies, the dance is a presentation of horse-riding. The horse used in the dance is made of two small bamboo sticks with two baskets tied to each end. An artistically prepared head of a horse is fixed to one of the baskets and a bunch of flex-fibre to the other. The dancer, dressed as a bridegroom in flowing costume and with sword in hand "adjusts the horse" on his waist in such a way as to create a realistic effect. Movements are jerky and angular. These dancers are called in to perform at marriages. In the Shekhawati area, the Kachhi Ghori dancers of Ganeri, Nechwa and Ramgarh are well known.

 Geeder is danced by the tribes of the Shekhawati area. It begins fifteen days before Holi. In this, only men take part. Drums are kept on a raised platform and the dancers form circles. Sticks are also used. It resembles the Gher in many ways. In this and other dances, we observe the coalescing of the levels of agricultural functions and myths.

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