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Bhawai Dance, Rajasthan

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Published on 22 Jul 2020 / In Folk Music & Dance

"This is Bhawai, the traditional folk dance form of Rajasthan. It is a unique dance form that originated from the need to transport water across a distance in the desert as womenfolk carry pitchers from oases to homes," says Dr Roop Singh Shekhawat.
Carrying the load of 'pitchers' for 35 years now, Dr Shekhawat is a reputed artiste from Rajasthan, who is known for his efforts to save the dying art form of Bhawai.
A PhD in Rajasthani folk dances, Dr Shekhawat is one of the very few well-known artists of Bhawai in the country at present. He today left the audience spellbound with his performance, with a touch of Kathak, at the Ramgarhia Girls' College.
However in his early days, he was not only questioned on his performances of Bhawai, being a male and a Rajput, but he was also subjected to social boycott by his own community.
"Now it's different, I am now invited by the President to perform. The same people, who despised me, now honour me. They have now understood that I was only taking care of our traditions. Today, I have an institute of my own which trains students in Kathak, Bhawai and other traditional folk dances," he adds.
"Sadly, Bhawai is being called a fast-dying dance form today as the dance requires a lot of dedication and concentration. And that is why I have been carrying this load on my head for 35 years now," he said, when asked about his love of Bhawai, "I can now proudly say that today I have trained ten students, seven boys and three girls in this dance form."
Narrating his tale, he said, "I was 15 when I first took to this dance form after my Guruji once noticed me balancing pots on my head. 'You are born to carry them,' he told me, and I understood it. Though it is replete with gestures and expresions of a woman, the dance is practised by both men and women."
Bhawai's nail-biting, gyrating moves with impeccable expressions generated so much curiosity and interest among the students that for half an hour's performance, there was not even a single head that turned away from where he performed on the stage.
As all eyes were fixed on the column of seven pitchers balanced one by one on a glass placed on the head, this 52-year-old artiste created euphoria in the hall when he stood on the edge of swords, glasses and plate.
Dr Shekhawat also left a message for the audience saying in the end that it was now their duty to take care of the traditions, be it Gidda or Sammi or Bhawai.
Courtesy By : Indian express

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