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Bhawai Dance

One of the traditional and famous dances of Rajasthan is Bhawai Dance. This form of dance is extremely difficult and only the expert artists can perform it. This is a women dance in which women dancers’ dance concurrently balancing eight to nine pitchers on their heads. The super expert dancer’s stabilizes a number of brass pitchers or earthen pots and then swing with under surface of their feet balanced on a glass top or on the perimeter of a brass thali (plate) or even on the bare sword’s edge through the performance in this thrilling and panicky dance.

It is believed that the Bhawai dance was initially invented in the adjoining Gujarat state but was quickly selected to pick and modified it in a characteristic Rajasthani style and essence by local ethnic women and men. Traditionally, this dance of Bhawai is executed by the women folk of Bhil, Meena, Jat, Chamar, Kumbhar, Kalbelia and Raiger groups of Rajasthani communities owing to the amazing ability and qualities of these communities to carry several water pots in one go on their heads from long distances of desert area.


The women folks belonging to the Bhil, Meena, Jat, Kumbhar, Kalbelia and Raiger groups of Rajasthani communities traditionally perform this kind of skillful dance. It is supposed that Bhawai type of dances were gradually evolved from the outstanding technique of the women of above mentioned communities while carrying several water pots at one time on their heads from long distances of the desert.

Performance of Bhawai Dance

Rajasthan state’s Bhawai dance form is generally executed by the female dancers balancing from seven to nine brass pitchers on their heads while dancing rapidly and repeatedly moving and spinning with sole of their feet resting on top of a glass or on the sword’s edge.

Bhawai dance form is carried with superb talent with the art of spinning and dancing still maintaining an excellent balancing work and also posing  several objects and articles on dancer’s head. The tribes of Rajasthan such as Bhils, Meenas, Kumhars, Jat, Kalbelia and Chamars promoted and enriched this folk dance with passage of time. The tribe of snake charmers, Kalbelia, is specially considered expert in the art of balancing and the female dancers of this tribe perform jovial welcome while holding clay pitchers up to ten on their head.

The female folk of these tribes are habituated to such matching precision owing to their hard work for carrying water in the desert. Rajasthani women folk can easily carry many such types of pots or pitchers in this manner on their heads to fetch water from far away wells to their homes. It is believed that Bhawai dance was originated in Gujarat state but later on quickly selected and modified by the tribal women and men to give this dance a unique essence of Rajasthan.

The dancers not only perform the balancing act on her head pitchers but also ascend on a plate supported by brass tumblers to make dance a super success and exciting the thoughts of onlookers that a small wrongdoing can spoil the whole show. The extra daring dancers can even perform Bhawai dance on a sword or on the broken glass. Sometimes ready ‘Puja Thali’ (a plate having worshipping materials) can also be balanced by dancer on her head.

In nutshell, Bhawai dance of Rajasthan State is an unambiguous and excitement filled action dance for all ages to watch and to gather its minute artistic details and historical background.

Bhavai Dance Elements

The background music in Bhawai dance is played by the male musicians who are the adjunct of this dance. The extra beauty is added to the dance by singing the melodious folk songs of Rajasthan by musicians during dance performance. Many traditional musical instruments such as Jhanjhar, Dholak, harmonium, sarangi and pakhwaj are played to give musical effects during the performance of Bhawai dance. The dancers and musicians are traditionally and beautifully dressed in colorful Rajasthani dresses to make this dance further attractive.

Occasions for Bhavai Dance

The performances of Bhawai dances can sometimes be seen in marriage functions and on other festive occasions. The necessary measures are strictly being taken by the Government of Rajasthan to revive this fast dying art of traditional dances. Other non Government organizations are also doing their active roles in saving such folk cultures. Due to all these efforts, this artistic Bhawai Dance has been promoted both in different Indian states and abroad also.

Kalbelia Tribe of Snake Charmers

The snake charmers tribe of Rajasthan known as Kalbelia is extremely talented in the ability of balancing act of bhawai dance. The female performers of this tribe can even perform cheerful welcome while balancing up to ten clay pitchers on head. It is supposed that these females of ‘Kalbelia’ are expert in such balancing act due to their lot of outside venturing in the arid desert areas. Such types of pitchers and pots are also carried out by women folks of Rajasthan in same manner to fetch water from far away wells for their homes.

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