Lavani/Laavani is a combination of traditional song and dance popular in Maharashtra, India. It is performed to the beats of Dholki/Dholak, a two headed hand drum percussion instrument. The dance form has a powerful rhythm, usually performed by female artists wearing nine-yard long sarees.
Lavani is a dance form originated in the 18th and 19th centuries, which was famous in the Peshawari Dynasty of Pune. It is a genre of Folk Dance which deals with various subject matters like Society, Religion and Politics. In its original forms, this dance was used for entertainment and morale boosting of tired soldiers.
Songs, Dress and Makeup
The songs of the dance are naughty and erotic in nature. Lavani has been developed into two distinct forms namely Phadachi Lavani and Baithakichi Lavani. Phadachi Lavani is the form performed in front of a large audience in a theatrical atmosphere. The form performed inside a closed chamber, for private and selected audience by a girl sitting before the audience it is called as Baithakichi Lavani.
The lady performers wear a 9 yard long saree called nauvari. A bun is formed with their hair and the performers wear heavy jewelry like necklace, earrings, ghungru, kamarpatta, bangles and sindoor. A large dark red bindi is put on their forehead.
Enjoy a video of the Lavani Folk Dance – Credit: Indian Dance Group Champa – with the song Apsara Aali from the Indian Marathi Film Natarang.