Folk Dance Of Maharashtra

Hi there! I’m a folk dance researcher and writer from Maharashtra, India. I’m passionate about exploring the unique dances of my home state and sharing them with others.

Today, I’d like to tell you all about the folk dances of Maharashtra – their history, cultural significance, and why they are so beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Maharashtra is an incredibly diverse region in terms of culture and traditions, so it’s no surprise that its traditional dances reflect this diversity. From classical pieces to more contemporary moves, each dance conveys a different emotion or story.

Whether performed at weddings or other special occasions, these expressive movements showcase the beauty of the local culture while bringing joy to those who watch them.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Maharashtra‘s iconic folk dances!


Lavani is a traditional folk dance of Maharashtra that has been performed for centuries. It’s an exuberant style of dance, with the dancers wearing colorful outfits while they perform intricate steps and footwork to the tune of music. Lavani is often accompanied by dandiya raas or garba folk music, which adds to its lively atmosphere.

The lyrics are usually in Marathi and tell stories about love, loss, and joy. They are typically sung in a romantic manner and evoke strong emotion from both the performers and audience members alike.

It’s believed that Lavani originated during the Bhakti era when it was used as a form of worship for Lord Krishna. Over time, its popularity spread throughout India due to traveling troupes performing at various places around the country. Today, Lavani dances can be seen not only in Maharashtra but also several other states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. Many Bollywood films have featured this popular style of dance over the years as well.

The energetic nature of the dance coupled with its expressive movements make it one of the most entertaining forms of entertainment across all ages. In fact, local villagers often organize festivals featuring Lavani performances where everyone comes together to celebrate life and enjoy each other’s company – something that truly binds us all together regardless of religion or caste.

With koli being another prominent folk dance in Maharastra let’s explore more about what makes it unique next!


Lavani has been a popular folk dance of Maharashtra for centuries, with its roots in the ancient Hindu tradition. It is often known as the traditional Marathi theatre and typically features songs that are accompanied by music from the tambura or dholak. The dancers perform to the beats of these instruments while enacting stories through their movements.

The next folk dance form we will discuss is Koli. This vibrant style of dancing originated in Rajasthan but is now commonly practiced across India. According to recent estimates, there are over 2 million Koli practitioners spread all around the world today!

An exciting aspect of Koli is bhavali khel – an improvisational form where two people battle it out on stage using footwork and hand gestures to match each other’s moves. Dindi rajasthan is another unique variation of this dance, which includes several couples performing together at once in sync with one another’s rhythm and grace.

Tamasha is yet another beloved Indian folk art form originating in Maharashtra. Unlike Lavani and Koli, Tamasha does not include any classical dance steps; instead, performers use dialogue and humorous skits to entertain audiences.

In addition to being enjoyed as pure entertainment, Tamasha also serves an important cultural purpose: keeping alive tales from local legends and mythology.


Tamasha is a traditional folk dance of Maharashtra that dates back to the early 1800s. It incorporates elements from Bhavgeet and Gondhal, two popular forms of music in Maharashtra.

Traditionally this form of dance was performed by women who would sing and dance to the accompaniment of an orchestra or band. The dancers were often dressed in bright costumes with intricate hand movements and lively steps that included clapping, swaying their bodies, twirling around and stomping their feet along with the beats.

The lyrics of Tamasha typically tell stories about social issues like poverty, injustice, love and betrayal among others. The songs are usually accompanied by musical instruments such as tabla drums, harmoniums, sarangi strings and cymbals which add to its dynamic soundscape.

Additionally there are also several props used during performances such as colorful flags and umbrellas which bring out the vibrant spirit of the performance.

Today Tamasha continues to be popular amongst locals in Maharashtra where it has been adapted into different styles including Lavani – an energetic style that features more modern music coupled with classical moves.

As we move on to discuss Powada next let us take a moment to appreciate how Tamasha has stood the test of time despite changing trends over centuries!


Powada is a folk dance from Maharashtra that has its roots in the culture and heritage of this state. This traditional form of dance is usually performed by groups of men, who are dressed in their local attire carrying swords and musical instruments like drums.

It is believed to have originated during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj, when his soldiers used to perform powadas as an act of celebration or remembrance. The music played for powada consists mostly of lokshahir style poetry, which narrates stories about wars fought by Marathas and other heroic deeds done by them.

The lyrics sung while performing this dance express emotions such as courage, bravery and devotion towards one’s kingdom. Powada poetry also includes praise for kings and warriors who sacrificed their lives for their country. The main purpose behind it was to instill feelings of patriotism among people so that they could fight against all odds for the protection of their motherland.

Besides providing entertainment, powada also serves as a source of inspiration for everyone who watches it being performed. This type of folk dance not only reflects the rich culture but also provides us with an insight into our history; something which can be cherished forever.

Powada remains an integral part of Maharashtra’s folklore and will continue to enthrall audiences across generations no matter what happens next – although dhangari gaja may offer quite a different experience!

Dhangari Gaja

The traditional folk dance of Maharashtra, Dhangari Gaja, is a vibrant and energetic art form that has been shared for generations. Despite its magnificence and beauty, it often gets overshadowed by more popular dances from the state such as Lavani or Bihu. But with its Warli Art inspired costumes and impressive group formations, Dhangari Gaja deserves recognition!

Dhangari Gaja originated in the Vidarbha region of Eastern Maharashtra and is usually performed during festivals like Diwali or Holi. It is characterized by dancers wearing vivid colors as they clap their hands, jump around in circles and perform acrobatic moves. The performers also adorn themselves with intricate Warli Art designs which are painted on to their faces, arms, chests and legs – this adds another layer of complexity to the dance moves as well as making them look visually stunning.

Traditional costumes featuring bright skirts, flowing dupattas (scarves) and jingling bells complete the look. This dynamic performance requires immense skill and energy to execute properly – all while keeping up with complex rhythms provided by accompanying musicians playing drums and other instruments.

Audiences of all ages marvel at the intoxicating atmosphere created when several hundred people come together to move gracefully in unison – an experience truly worthy of appreciation!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Type Of Clothing Is Typically Worn When Performing Traditional Folk Dances Of Maharashtra?

A. When it comes to traditional folk dances of Maharashtra, there are many regional variations in the type of clothing worn when performing.

Typically, dancers wear bright and vibrant clothes that reflect the culture’s deep-rooted cultural significance. The women often opt for sarees with intricate embroidery or designs while men typically wear a dhoti kurta or panche.

These outfits are usually accessorized with turbans, headgears, jewelry, bells and ankle bands depending on the region from which the dance originates.

Q2. How Have Traditional Folk Dances Of Maharashtra Evolved Over Time?

A. As a folk dance researcher and writer, I’ve come to learn how traditional dances of Maharashtra have evolved over time.

From the costumes worn to the various dance forms practiced, there’s been a noticeable change in these cultural practices over generations.

In particular, we see more bright colors being used for costumes today than what was popular decades ago; as well as new and intricate dance moves that still pay homage to their roots but are unique in style compared to past performers.

Q3. What Are The Origins Of The Different Folk Dances Of Maharashtra?

A. Folk dances of Maharashtra have deep roots in local customs and cultural influences. They vary greatly in style, but all share a common history that dates back hundreds of years.

As an experienced folk dance researcher and writer from Maharashtra, I can tell you the origins of these traditional dances are deeply embedded within the culture of each particular region. In some areas, it has been passed down orally for generations, while other regions may preserve their own records or accounts from travelers who documented them centuries ago.

The various folk dances of this region reflect its diverse heritage and ancestral influences, making them truly unique and captivating.

Q4. What Is The Typical Musical Accompaniment For Traditional Folk Dances Of Maharashtra?

A. When it comes to traditional folk dances of Maharashtra, there is a wide range of musical accompaniments that vary depending on the particular dance style.

These cultural influences have shaped the music and instruments used in many popular dances such as Lavani, Koli, Dhangar, Tamasha and Gondhal.

For example, Lavani typically features drummers playing dholaki drums while singing along with an accompanying vocalist. Similarly, Koli dancing includes tuntunes played by accordion-like instruments called swarpeti.

Meanwhile, Dhangar dancers often use stringed instruments like the sitar or sarangi for their lively performances. Overall, different types of folk dances in Maharashtra have distinct musical accompaniment that reflect both regional and global influences.

Q5. What Are Some Of The Most Popular Folk Dances Of Maharashtra That Are Performed Today?

A. Folk dance in Maharashtra is a vibrant part of the culture, with traditional styles passed down from generation to generation.

From the energetic Lavani style of Marathi folk dance, to Bhavai performances which bring together music and storytelling, these dances are more than just an entertaining art form – they hold cultural significance for many communities.

The most popular folk dances today include Tamasha, Koli and Dhangari Gaja, each with its own unique set of moves and musical accompaniment that draw crowds across the state.

For those looking to explore the beauty of Maharashtra’s folk dance culture first hand, there are plenty of opportunities available to get involved!


Folk dances of Maharashtra are a vibrant and exciting part of the cultural heritage. It is no surprise that they have been around for centuries, evolving over time to bring us the amazing performances we see today.

From the traditional clothing worn while performing these dances, to the drums and other musical instruments used to accompany them – there is something truly special about folk dancing in Maharashtra.

As an avid researcher and writer on this subject, I can confidently say that every performance is unique! The passionate energy of each dance brings joy and excitement to all who witness it.

Every time I watch one of these traditional folk dances being performed, my heart skips a beat from sheer awe at its beauty!