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Home » West india » Maharashtra » Dance and music » Lavani Dance
Maharashtra Places to see LAVANI DANCE

Lavani is a famous dance form of the state of Maharashtra. The word Lavani is derived from "lavanya" which means beauty. Charming women dressed in bright costumes and embellished with golden jewelries perform this dance form that is accompanied with traditional songs. The History of Lavani dance dates back to 18th century when it was performed to encourage the soldiers going out for battles.

The songs of lavani are based on multiple themes like social awareness, love and romance. Some of the songs are also religious or politics-based. Marathi poets played a major role in popularizing these songs. Honai Bala, Prabhakar and Ramjoshi are a few examples in this regard. The performers of Lavani dance usually dance to the beats of a "dholak". Women's pulsating dances to beats of drums are captivating and enthrall the audience. The Costumes wore by performers consist of nine yard long saris that are silky and gaudy. The breathtaking dance movements that are played by women wearing such huge attires are worth applauding.

The performances by the artists are full of fervor and zest. The love songs of Naik Banjara and Ranubai are quite famous. There are two forms of lavanis: A philosophical lavani that is called Nirgun Lavani and an erotic one which is called Shringari Lavani. The nirguni style is famous all over Malwa. The Shringari lavani is a love saga that is played by a woman and the lyrics are written by a male. Both music and dance go hand in hand as both the art forms are inseparable.

The musical part of Lavani dance is known as Maanch; it consists of dialogues in the form of music and is punctuated by several meaningless chants. Lavani is performed differently depending upon the occasion. In villages, it is played while performing rituals and sacrifices. The breathtaking performance by the stage artists last for a whole night and generally are applauded by the whistles and cheers of the audience.

Most of the lavani songs are pure and have been preserved in their original forms till today. Ballad of Alha and songs of Sukhai are popular all over Uttar Pradesh. The Bhils sing lavani in groups. Their songs mark their Cultural festivities and matrimonial occasions. Major instruments that accompany Lavani dance are dholki, manjeera, lejim, tuntuni and harmonium.

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