Lavani Dance


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    • Recently, the State of Maharashtra witnessed a controversy surrounding Lavani dance, where the younger generation of women dancers was accused of vulgarising the traditional folk art form.


    • Derived from ‘lavanya’ or beauty, Lavani is a traditional folk art form in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos(ankle bells) perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience.
    • It attained popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century with performances being held in front of kings and for the entertainment of tired soldiers resting during breaks in fighting.
    • Several sub-genres of Lavani exist, of which the most popular is the Shringarik (erotic) kind. With passage of time the art became sanitised with later performers choosing indirect references to erotic meanings over direct gestures and overt lyrics.

    • Lavani dance was generally performed by Dhangars or Shepherds living in the Solapur, inspired by nature, the dance form contains tales of the birth of Biruba, their deity. Live performances continue to get huge responses from the public in rural Maharashtra.
    • A Lavani performance can be broadly categorized into two parts. The Nirguni Lavani, which deals with philosophy and Shringari Lavani which deals with sensuality.
    • Shrinagri Lavani is more popular than Nirguni Lavani and is performed in theatres as well as in Bollywood movies. Shringari Lavani deals with a multitude of genres, with the love between a man and a woman being the most prominent.

    Source: IE