CHARI DANCE- RAJASTHAN

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CHARI DANCE, RAJASTHAN, INDIA

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“An Indian folk group dance comprising of women” is essentially what Chari is all about. This “female oriented folk dance” has originated in Rajasthan and is renowned all throughout the state. Just like the “Bhavai” this dance form too makes use of earthen/brass pots which are referred to as “Chari” (hence this dance form has been named so). Furthermore, apparently this dance form has been created to honour the daily ritual of collecting water. In addition, this dance is mainly performed during on auspicious occasions such as marriages, birth of a child (especially a male), and religious festivals.

a. History/origin of the Chari Dance:

Historically speaking, this dance was first developed within the Gujjar community in Rajasthan. It is said that this dance form was mainly developed like the “Bhavai dance” to pay rich tribute to the age old Rajasthani tradition of collecting water in a pot called “Chari” and balancing it on the head. In addition, this dance is also known as “Welcome dance”.

b. Costume used in the Chari Dance:

Apart from the regular Rajasthani female costume, which includes “Ghagra and Choli” it also entails heavy jewellery. Thus the jewellery used includes items such as Hansli, Timniya, Mogri, Punchi, Bangdi, Gajra (flowers), armlets, Karli, Kanka, and Navr.

c. Music used in the Chari Dance:

The main instrument used to produce the music for this dance form is “Bankia”, which is similar to the trumpet and is capable of producing a powerful sound. The other instruments used are Nagada i.e. a drum, Dholak, harmonium, and a thali (an autophonic instrument).

d. Training availability and the technique involved in the Chari Dance:

In terms of technique, this dance form is similar to “Bhavai” and includes dancers (mainly women) dancing using graceful limb and swirling knee movements, while at the same time carrying a flaming pot called “Chari” on the head. Unfortunately, though there are not many training centres/schools available for those interested in learning this “intriguing” dance form.

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