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Indian Heritage & Culture

Kalbeliya Dance

  • 01 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, due to Covid-19-Pandemic an app called chendavia is gaining popularity among the students of kalbeliya dance.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Kalbeliya dances are an expression of the Kalbelia community’s traditional way of life.
      • It is associated with a Rajasthani tribe of the same name.
    • It was included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in 2010.
      • UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance.
      • It was established in 2008 when the Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect.
    • The dance form consists of swirling; graceful movements that make this dance a treat to behold.
      • The movements associated with the Kalbelia also make it one of the most sensuous forms of folk dance in India.
    • It is generally performed for any joyous celebration and is considered to be an integral part of the Kalbeliya culture.
    • Another unique aspect of the Kalbelia dance is that it is only performed by women while the men play the instruments and provide the music.
  • Instruments & Dress:
    • Women in flowing black skirts dance and swirl, replicating the movements of a serpent, while men accompany them on the “khanjari” instrument and the "poongi", a woodwind instrument traditionally played to capture snakes.
    • The dancers wear traditional tattoo designs, jewellery and garments richly embroidered with small mirrors and silver thread.
  • Kalbeliya Songs:
    • They disseminate mythological knowledge through stories.
    • They also demonstrate the poetic acumen of the Kalbeliya, who are reputed to compose lyrics spontaneously and improvise songs during performances.
    • Transmitted from generation to generation, the songs and dances form part of an oral tradition for which no texts or training manuals exist.
  • Kalbeliya Tribe:
    • Kalbeliya tribe people were once professional snake handlers, today they evoke their former occupation in music and dance that is evolving in new and creative ways.
    • They live a nomadic life and belong to the scheduled tribes.
    • The largest number of the population of Kalbeliyas is in Pali district, then Ajmer, Chittorgarh and Udaipur district (Rajasthan).
  • Other Traditional Folk Dances of Rajasthan: Gair, Kachchhi Ghodi, Ghoomar, Bhavai, etc.

Source: TH

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