Lavani Dancers: If seduction doesn’t work, they will play on your sympathy.

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I had never really seen a live Lavani dance (until now) nor made any great effort to go see one. A much abused dance form of Maharashtra, my impressions of it being lewd, provocative and downright crude were formed early in my youth. Cheap Marathi cinema broadcast on late night television in the 70’s was responsible for this misconception. However, such glimpses did leave me curious about the vitality and sheer playfulness embodied by the dancers. Later, I learnt that Lavani is not just one of the most loved and celebrated folk dances of Maharashtra but is one of the rare ones that has survived through centuries of change in a battle torn state. From being a court dance endorsed by the Maratha royalty in the 18th century to its lurid depiction in modern times by prostitutes, bar dancers and item numbers alike; I was pleasantly surprised to encounter this dance in the context of a rock show! Needless to say, I was riveted in the midst of a hooting, whistling and completely intoxicated crowd, who teased and shared a special dialogue with these dancers.

About shabnamphoto

I'm a graphic artist with a passion for photography. I like to tell a story with my pictures. Sometimes a picture may speak on its own and at other times it may need an explanation. I'm intrigued by the ordinariness of life and enjoy documenting my life in the light and shadow of what surrounds me. Be it people, landscape, flowers, architecture or birds, the camera helps me see what I wouldn't with my naked eye.
This entry was posted in Documentary, Photo essay, Portrait, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lavani Dancers: If seduction doesn’t work, they will play on your sympathy.

  1. Ashok Parab. says:

    Hi Shabnam,
    I like your Photos. i am a good fan of LAVANI as a folk art dance forms.
    I have seen some live lavani shows. and i hv. realy enjoyed it. I have seen some of the performances of Original, famous Lavani Queens of Maharastra.

    Get Well soon.



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