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Ghumar Performers

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Nitesh Amesar


Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan, India and Sindh‚ Pakistan. Ghoomar was developed by the Bhil tribe and was then adopted by other Rajasthani communities. It is performed by women in swirling robes, and accompanied by men and women singing together. This folk dance gets its name from ‘ghoomna’, the pirouetting which displays the spectacular colors of the flowing ‘ghaghara’, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women. There is an amazing grace as the skirts flair slowly while the women twirl in circles, their faces covered with the help of veils. They use measured steps and various graceful inclinations of the body, beating palms or snapping fingers at particular cadences while singing lilting songs. Mostly Goddess Saraswati is worshiped during this dance. This dance is usually done in a circle. Ghoomar is performed by women. Women dance in circles with graceful moves and display colourful ghagharas. Hence the dance form is aptly named as Ghoomar. The women dance with amazing precision, even as their face is covered with a veil. Over a period, the dance form gained wide acceptance and became popular. A characteristic dance form of Bhil community, Ghoomar has evolved into a community dance form in which the Rajput community too participates with much enthusiasm. Performed by women in general, Ghoomar gets a complimentary touch with men and women singing alongside. The dance form involves women wearing colourful skirts with elegant mirror work done on the same. Tapping of feet does not stop as the Ghoomar dancers take centrestage and make the evening lively and vibrant. Ghoomar can be performed by women of any age group. This dance form also known by the name of ‘Jhumar’ involves swaying movements and is indeed simple to perform. The enthusiasm of the performer is the sole requirement of the dance as it can continue from few hours till late nights. The Performance Ghoomar is usually done during the Teej festivities. However, it’s also performed during other festivals and important occasions. Ghoomar is extremely simple to perform and the dancers have to move around in circular motion with clockwise and anticlockwise steps being taken in tandem. The tempo of Ghoomar reaches its peak as synchronization of steps with music is done. Considered to be a traditional ritual of Rajasthan, this dance is also performed by the bride after she is welcomed at her husband’s home. History of Ghoomar Ghoomar dance form has been traditionally promoted by Bhil community in Rajasthan. It was also performed by the royal ladies of Rajasthan in ancient times. History has it that the Kachhwaha Clan of Rajputs defeated Bhil community. However, later both communities decided to enter into a peaceful pact and decided to live in harmony. The dance form slowly got associated with royalty in Rajasthan as ladies started performing it on special occasions. Regions associated with Ghoomar Although traditionally Ghoomar is performed throughout the state of Rajasthan, Udaipur, Kota-Bundi and Jodhpur are particularly known to imbibe this dance form. An interesting fact about Ghoomar dance form is that distinct parts of Rajasthan state have left their impression on the movements of this dance form. Owing to its proximity to neighbouring Gujarat, Udaipur gives a distinct Garba touch to Ghoomar. The dance form in Jodhpur is jerkier as limb movement is more intense in Ghoomar in this region. Living upto its name, the dance form in Kota-Bundi region is lively with melodious and catchy dance accompanying the same. Cultural insight Ghoomar in itself offers one an opportunity to get a glimpse of the rich cultural life of Rajasthan. Traditional ghagharas along with colourful chunaris and choli add a distinct touch to the vibrant atmosphere. Traditional jewellery along with bangles too is worn for Ghoomar. Highly decorated dresses having mirror work on them are a specialty of the dresses that have been designed for Ghoomar. Ghoomar gives one an opportunity to get a cultural insight into Rajasthani culture as numerous popular songs are sung while the dance performance is in progress. A popular song that one gets to hear during Ghoomar performances is “Mhari Ghoomar chhe Nakhrali ye Maye”. Less Known facts During recent times, Ghoomar has become increasingly popular across the world. Ghoomar has recently made its way into becoming one of the world’s most amazing local dance forms. An international travel website has ranked Ghoomar as the fourth most famous local dance forms in the world. The website points out that the dance form has its own graceful movements and the swirling movements of the womenfolk add a distinct touch to Ghoomar



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