FOLK DANCES OF INDIA -LAVANI
Lavani Folk Dance is a genre of music popular in Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu State. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the enchanting beats of Dholak, a percussion instrument. Lavani is noted for its powerful rhythm and erotic sentiment. Lavani has contributed substantially to the development of Marathi folk theatre In Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh. It is performed by the female performers wearing nine-yard long sarees. The songs are sung in a quick tempo.
According to a tradition, the word Lavani is derived from the word lavanya which means beauty. According to another tradition, it is derived from Marathi lavani. Satyabhamabai Pandharpurkar and Yamunabai Waikar are the popular present day exponents of Lavani Dance. Although beginnings of Lavani can be traced back to 1560. Several celebrated Marathi Shahir poet-singers, which include Ram Joshi (1762–1812), Anant Fandi (1744-1819), Prabhakar (1769-1843) contributed significantly for the development of this genre of music. Honaji Bala introduced tabla in place of the traditional dholki. He also developed the baithakichi Lavani a sub-genre, which is presented by the singer in the position.
Traditionally, this genre of folk dance deals with different and varied subject matters such as society, religion, politics and romance also. The songs in ‘Lavani’ are mostly erotic in sentiment and the dialogues tend to be pungent in socio-political satire. Originally, it was used as a form of entertainment and morale booster to the tired soldiers. Lavani Songs, which are sung along with dance, are usually naughty and erotic in nature. It is believed their origin is in the Prakrit Gathas collected by Hala. The Nirguni Lavani (philosophical) and the Shringari Lavani (sensual) are the two types.