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Top 6 Popular Folk Dance of Maharashtra, India

Top 6 Popular Folk Dance of Maharashtra, India

Maharashtra is not only a state filled with urban hassles, but the people of Maharashtra are also engrossed in beautiful traditional folk dance styles that symbolize the state’s culture.

The primary theme that makes the state famous and serves as a representation of social culture is the vibrant music accompanied by colorful attires and traditional dance styles.

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In this article, you will get to know about the following traditional folk dances of Maharashtra,

  1. Dhangar Dance
  2. Dindi and Kala Dance
  3. Lavani
  4. Povadas Dance
  5. Koli Dance

Let’s see each of these in detail…

1. Dhangar Dance

The Dhangars of Maharashtra’s Sholapur district are especially known for their nature as they lead their cattle to lush meadows for grazing. 

They write poetry, known as Ovi, especially about their natural world and their god Biruba.

When they return home once a year, they honor God Biruba. They spend their time with their loved ones and families.

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To thank their God for his grace and bounty, the Dhangari Gaja dance is performed at this time.

Dhoti, Angarakha, and Pheta, which are traditional Marathi attire, are worn by dancers while they perform the Dhangar, especially when they dance, encircling a group of drummers. 

2. Dindi and Kala Dance

In Maharashtra, the sacred folk dances of Dindi and Kala are used to symbolize religious fervor.

Dindi is performed on the Ekadashi day of the Kartik month and during its performance, the musicians use a small drum called a Dindi.

The Mridangam player and the vocalist in the center of the stage balance the dancers’ rhythm.

In Kala Dance, a group of dancers with other dancers on their shoulders forms a double-tiered circle and indulges in graceful dance steps.

After the ceremony’s opening, the dancers are involved in a furious battle dance while waving swords and sticks.

Both dances display the playfulness of Lord Krishna.

3. Lavani

Lavani is derived from the word Lavanya, which means beauty. 

This art form combines dance and music and explores a wide range of subjects, including society, religion, politics, romance, and more. 

The dance is often performed by women wearing nine-yard saris to the mesmerizing beat of the dholak. 

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These ladies sync sensually to the captivating music and teasing lyrics.

When Maharashtra was a war-torn state in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Lavani dance provided fatigued soldiers with amusement and a morale boost. 

During the Peshwai, the dance attained its height of popularity.

Marathi poets like Honaji Bala, Ramjoshi, Prabhakar, etc. took Lavani to new heights.

4. Povadas Dance

Povadas are presented in the style of Marathi ballads. The events in the life of the legendary Maratha king Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are depicted in this genre of dance. 

The Maratha Empire was founded by Shivaji, who waged a lifelong war against the Mughals. Nearly the entire Deccan was under Shivaji’s property by 1680, the year of his demise

 Shivaji maintains the highest position in Maratha history since he was a superb warrior and one of the best emperors of India. These ballads serve as a way for Maharashtrians to honor this great hero and remember him. The dancer is dressed in a multicolored waistline with a salwar and side knots.

5. Koli Dance

The Koli dance is a traditional fisher folk dance of Maharashtra. 

The locals do energetic dances and have their own unique identities. 

The dance incorporates the sea and fishing, two things that this community is most accustomed to.

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Men and women form two groups, and dance while holding oars in their hands while fishermen stand in two rows. 

The dancers coordinate movements and mimic the motion of a boat being rowed. 

Fisherwomen move and approach the men folk from the opposite rows, with their arms interlocked. 

They dance collectively while making motions that represent waves, breaks, rowing between cliffs, and casting nets to catch fish.

One of the best ways to experience and comprehend the culture of Maharashtra’s folk dances is to participate in or witness this region’s lovely musical and dance legacy.

Gifted with its rich culture and traditions, Maharashtra has different types of elegant dance forms performed during special events and festivals.


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