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Chakri Dance

Taken from the Hindi word “chakkar”, meaning “circle”, Chakri dance of Rajasthan is a type local folk dance that is performed by back to back spinning movements by the dancers. Being a fast-paced and a graceful kind of a dance, the Chakri Dance is mostly seen to be performed during joyous and uspicious events like marriage ceremonies and other similar festivals in Rajasthan.

The Chakri Dance also stays true to the one of the most important characteristics that we associate Rajasthan with – color. All the costumes adorned by the dancers during their performance of this dance display a number of vivid colors and typically Rajasthani designs such as glass sequins. While women dancers spin away to a certain rhythm, the unique background music is contributed by none other than the local menfolk showing their skill with the musical instrument called a Dholak (a type of an Indian drum).


The women of Kanjar Tribe who settled in Baran and Kota district of Rajasthan first gave rise to this dance and soon it became their sole means of running a livelihood. Now it has also migrated to different parts of Rajasthan such as the Haroti, Barod and the Chippa region. Chakri Dance is very similar to a native dance of Madhya Pradesh known as Raai which is mainly performed by the tribe known as the Beriyas.

Performance of Chakri Dance

Although Chakri Dance can technically be performed as a solo act, it is generally performed in groups of immensely skilled women dancers. These women excel in their art of dancing in a way that they actually manifest the confidence to make this dance their only means of earning and making a living out of it. Most of these women come from remote parts of Rajasthan where education rate of the masses is poor. Thanks to Chakri Dance they can rely on this art as a means to earn their livelihood.

Being one of the most famous dances in Rajasthan, dance groups from all over are hired for occasions such as to celebrate the arrival of a groom at the bride’s doorstep, or for pre-wedding Indian ceremonies such as Sangeet. Women performers of this dance have a pretty tight schedule all the year round and manage to make a decent income out of their talent for dancing.

Laden with rainbow-colored outfits, the fact that they are enjoying themselves while dancing is reflected clearly on the faces of the women dancing the Chakri Dance. Once they begin their dance number, they seem to forget the rest of the world around them and simply lose themselves in their performance. They spin at lightning fast speed and become a blur with their skirts whipping around in the wind during the peak of their performance.

Anyone without the requisite expertise would be unable to perform this brilliantly artistic dance because it needs nothing less than pure perfection. Being performed in and about a pretty large area, the dancers need to be extremely careful not to bang into each other while spinning at such high speed for such accidents could seriously hurt someone. However, with years and years of practice, these women can gracefully and flawlessly perform this dance just like a wheel in motion.

Chakri Dance is an absolute treat for the eyes and people from all over the nation queue up in Rajasthan just to feast their eyes on such a unique dance form that has only gotten better with time.

The Chakri Dance Elements

The Chakri Dance would not have the same fervor or life without the right kind of music. Hence music is the key element of this dance. There are groups of women who prefer singing their own song simultaneously while performing this dance, but such a routine can be quite tiresome. Most of the dancers are hence, accompanied by skillful singers who sing traditional folk songs along with playing the Dholak, Nagara (a type of a drum that issues forth loud music) or other musical instruments as the women work their magic with the dances. The music is always of a fast tempo making it peppy so that even the audiences who come to watch these performances are moved enough to start dancing with the beats of the song.

Occasions for the Chakri Dance

Being a main source of income for many women across Rajasthan, the Chakri Dance is traditionally performed in almost every auspicious event in the state, be it marriage ceremonies or any pre-wedding celebrations. The performance of this dance adds a fun-filled atmosphere to these joyous events.

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