Maharashtra is a land of culture and festivities. There are myriad of dance forms and music that are part of its traditions and Customs. The folk dances of Maharashtra are particularly entertaining. Theses art-forms are either influenced by religion or are part of a rich culture.
There are several forms of music and dance in Maharashtra; amongst the most popular folk dances, Tamasha, Koli, Dhangri Gaja, Povadas, Lavani are worth- mentioning. These dance forms are characterized by their rhythmic dance movements and graceful style. In fact, they showcase the state's age-old society that has remained immersed in art and culture for centuries.
Among the religious dances, Kala is the most popular one. This dance form is entirely dedicated to Lord Krishna. This rhythmic dance is performed using a pot. Dindi is another dance form that is devoted to Lord Krishna and reflects his joviality and merriment.
Tamasha is the unique combination of "Bhana" and "Prashana", the famous dramas of Sanskrit. The dancers play to the tunes of several musical instruments like manjeera, tuntuni and cymbals. The use of ghunghroos is very common. Koli dance is another folk dance that reflects the lifestyle of the Koli tribe. As fishing is the main occupation of this tribe, this dance also consists of rowing and wave movements of boat.
Among the other music and dance of Maharashtra, Dhangri Gaja is very well known and showcases the life of Dhangar shepherds. These shepherds are known for their artistic poems that they recite with full zest and enthusiasm. Their poems often comprise of beautiful lyrics that are based on their religious sentiments.
Lavani is a term that is derived from "lavanya" which means beauty. In Lavani, womenfolk perform on the beats of "dholak", a musical instrument. They wear long sarees. This entertaining dance form is not only entertaining but also deals with several subjects of society including love, romance, and Religion. Povadas is a dedicated to the great warrior of Maharashtra, namely, Chatrapati Shivaji who was a successful Maratha ruler. This dance is an embodiment of his achievements and heroic deeds.
Apart from dances, Maharashtra is also famous for its folk music which is equally entertaining as well as inspiring to the listeners. "Ovi" is a musical song that is sung by womenfolk and is based in their unmarried and matrimonial lives. "Bhaleri" is sung at the time of harvesting to celebrate the farm-produce.
Non-stop Bhajans that are continuously played for seven days in the temples are sung in praise of the deities. "Gondhal" is a form of music that is dedicated to Lord Rama, Malhari and several other gods. "Lalita" is a theatrical music whose theme is based on ancient puranas.
The music and dances of Maharashtra are the symbols of entertainment and enthusiasm, they, in fact, are the treasure-house of rich and diverse Culture of the society.