Originating from the state of Maharashtra the word Lavanya meaning Beauty which tries to put the various social aspects in an entertaining form. The Lavani Dance form is a combination of traditional songs and dances. It worked as a morale booster for the war soldiers in the 18th century.
Usually Lavani Dance form is performed by Dhangars or shepherds of Sholapur district of Maharashtra. Lavani is the poetry written by Dhangras who gets the inspiration by nature. The Lavani dance from contains the tales of Birth of their Diety called Biruba. In general in the Lavani Songs there are meaningless chants which are used to fill the gaps within the musical sounds. Lavani the musical drama goes on for the entire night and at the end of the Lavani performance, a replica of Manmathas mount is burnt.
Maharashtra long years ago was a battle torn state and Lavani dance form served as mode of entertainment and morale booster to the tired soldiers during the period of 18th and 19th century. The dance reached peak popularity during the Peshwai rule which was the dynasty seated in Pune, during this period the dance was given royal support by the ruling elite. The great Marathi poets like Honaji Bala, Ramjoshi, Prabhakar, etc. took Lavani Dance forms to new heights. In the recent times, Lavani has become confined to sensual entertainment often presented in a stereotyped and cheap form in Marathi films. Lavani constitutes the beautiful combination of traditional song and dance, which particulary performed to the enchanting beats of ‘Dholak’, and drum like instrument. The Dance is performed by attractive women wearing nine-yard saries who sing in a quick tempo.
The Lavani music form is popular in Maharashtra which has two types the Nirguni Lavani which includes philosophy and the Shringari Lavani which had the shades to erocity which is popular in Madhya Pradesh.
The Lavani Dancers are dressed in bright colored saries and bedecked in golden jewelry; the Lavani dancers usually get dressed graciously swayed their bodies to the beat of the dholaks enticing the audience. Scholars usually say that the origin of Lavani dance was in the temples where the dance and musical performances were held as part of worship of the gods. Indeed, beautifully dressed women enchant the audience with their dance and song.
Lavani is performed by attractive women wearing nine-yard saries and the women gyrate on the pulsating beats of traditional music. Earlier this art form dealt with different and varied subject matters including society, religion, politics, romance, etc. Lavani in earlier times was used as a form of entertainment and morale booster to the tired soldiers during the 18th and 19th century Maratha battle. Lavani today is an integral part of rural theatre, with its variations including the traditional Gan and Gavlan which are meant to please the Gods. Earlier Lavani was just about the song which was performed by courtesans using only the facial expressions suited to the meaning . |
Legends like Raja Bhoj, Kanjar gorl were the popular Lavani dancers. There are love songs about Naik Banjara and the Ranubai, which have a much softer tones than the other musical compositions of Lavani. Traditionally the songs are sung by female singers. Male singers have an occassional presence. The dance form associated with Lavani is known as Tamasha. In India today any erotic and hot number will be picked up by the audience is Lavani because it gives importance to double entendres and suggestive lines and is being rediscovered only for its sex appeal.
Learning the Lavani Dance
Mr. Raj Kumar
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