Joy of Dancing: Lavani from Maharashtra

Very popular in it's region of origin, but quite unknown in the dance community in the West is the Maharashtrian folk dance Lavani. The word Lavani derives from Lavanya meaning beauty. Lavani is combination of dance and teasing lyrics with warm rhythm of Dholki, performed by women wearing nine-yard saris.
Lavani was added quite recently to the popular culture of Mumbai.
Tamashas (folk theater) used to happen only in the traditional sangit bari theatres in places like Solapur, Pune, Choufula and Modnimb. The stage shows were patronised by local tradesmen, craftsmen and poor farmers. The relatively rich could ask for private baithaks where girls danced only for them.
The dance is particulraly appealing beacause of its flirtatious movements and the hilarious character of the performance. Spectators express their enthusiasm and applause whistling and clapping.

An interesting documentary "Natale Tumchyasathi: Behind the Adorned Veil" (2009) by Savitri Medhatul & Bhushan Korgaonkar has been screened only in India by now (read about it here, here and here). You can watch the entire movie here, but this television edition has no subtitles. I have been looking everywhere to buy the DVD but I could't find it - so if you come cross it somewhere, please let me know!

Picture credits here and here.


  1. Very interesting, music seemed like a blend of various styles.

  2. good nice blog..

    see my blog also where you can download this lavanies:

  3. Hi Nikhil, that's great. Love the songs. Thank you!!



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