Maharashtra has a lively tradition of song, dance, music and theatre.
Vasudev, a dance form, is performed by people believed
to be incarnation of Lord Krishna. Bedecked in the distinctive headgear
of peacock feathers, performers sing Vasudev geets and with nimble, delicate
dance steps, whirl around presenting anecdotes from Lord Krishna's life
in exchange for alms. Soothing, melodious notes float through the villages,
particularly near Jalgaon and Dhule. On auspicious occasions like the
birth of a child, dancers might hold night- long performances called gondhals.
Elsewhere, rustic actors could be narrating lively stories through the
bharud, an enactment of the written musical compositions of poet- saints,
and singers could be crooning powadas, inspiring ballads. The lavni performed
by women, is sometimes called the queen of Marathi folk music and dance.
It is incorporated in slapstik tamasha, and is perhaps one of the most
popular folk forms. Marathi theatre itself has evolved over the years,
and is now a mature form of communication which challenges norms and often
embraces rebellious themes.