Kalbeliya is a nomadic community who sometimes introduces themselves as Naath, Jogi, Sapere and Sadhu. Their family business is to catch snakes. This comes in handy as they showcase a number of tricks using these snakes while giving spectacular shows in nearby villages and qasbas and at their Jajmaans place and thus earn livelihood for themselves. As the time changed they have made permanent lodgings outside the cities.
Pungi is a special instrument of Kalbeliya community. They catch snakes with the help of pungi. They enchant the snake by playing this instrument and then catch it. They believe that the snake can never bite them and they also make Surma using the snake poison . Due to the use of Surma they believe that they will never lose their eye sight.
The women of this community are expert in singing and dancing. In olden times the women use to sing and dance only on special occasions such as weddings, festivals etc. in their very own distinct style. As times changed these women started performing stage shows around the whole world and with it changed their dancing style as well as their attires. Their swaying dresses, made up of colourful beads give a distinct identity to the women of Kalbeliya community. What makes this attractive dress more interesting is that it is made by the Kalbeliya women themselves. A very interesting fact about them is that they never teach the folk arts to their children. They gain expertise in singing and dancing by watching the elders doing it at home.
Bhavai is a genre of folk dance popular in Rajasthan state in western India. The male or female performers balance a number of earthen pots or brass pitchers as they dance nimbly, pirouetting and then swaying with the soles of their feet perched on the top of a glass, on the edge of the sword or on the rim of a brass thali (plate) during the performance. The accompaniment to the dance is provided by the male performers singing melodious songs and playing a number of musical instruments, which include pakhwaja, dholak, jhanjhar, sarangi, and harmonium.
raditionally, this genre of dance was performed by the female performers belonging to the Jat, Bhil, Raigar, Meena, Kumhar, and Kalbelia communities of Rajasthan. It is assumed that this genre of dance was evolved from the exceptional balancing skills of the females of these communities developed to carry a number of pots of water on head over a long distance in the desert.
Tera Tali is a Rajasthani dance performed by the members of Kamar tribe. This dance is performed to worship their deity Baba Ramdev and as such is performed at the Baba`s temple in Runecha. Bhajans or hymns or folk songs are sung while performing this dance. The dance performed by the women of the tribe has one major difference over other dances. The dancers perform this while sitting on the ground and the dance moves resemble that of a snake`s movement.
Two or three women are seated on the ground with veil on their face with or without a sword clenched between their teeth. They sway, shift and slide on the ground. The women are dressed in colorful, beautifully embroidered ghagras (Long skirts) and Cholis (Top) along with cymbals or Manjeeras in their hands and another thirteen cymbals tied to different parts of their body.
These cymbals make a clanging sound which stands out from the vocals and other heavy musical accompaniments and yet compliments them beautifully. To make a musical impression the cymbals have to be brought together at different points and correct angles. This requires the dance be performed with great accuracy and precision, more so if the dancer has a sword clenched between her teeth. It is the beats of these cymbals that give the dance its name, Tera Tali or thirteen beats. While it`s the women who perform this dance, it`s the men who do the singing. The men also play string instruments like Ek Tara or Chau Tara.
Rhythm of Rajasthan was founded by Nitin Harsh, a folklore promoter and researcher based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Nitin started his career with Late Padam Bhushan Komal Kothari in his organization Rupayan. He worked under Komal Kothari for video documentation and production. Since last 15 years Nitin has documented hundred hours of video and sound recording on all performing arts of Rajasthan.
The Rhythm of Rajasthan has a vision and mission to ensemble the top class folk performing artists of Rajasthan to come up with different performing art genre to showcase their talent at national and international platforms.