Rajasthan is famous for its vast variety of folk dances, which include Panihari, Gher (Gair), Tera Tali, Chari, Walar, Jhumar (Ghumar), Gangore, Gavri, Ginad, Khulan Leela and Khayaland Suisini. Various folk instruments and articles like pots topped with lighted lamps, sticks, shards of glass and swords are used in these dances. The folk dances of Rajasthan clearly show the colourful nature of this desert state. Certain dances are specific to certain tribes. For instance, the Bhils have a variety of dances like Ghumar dance, Raika and Jhoria; the Mina tribes have the Gher dance; the Garasias have the Valar dance while the Kamars performs the Tera Tali. Panihari is performed by women, who carry earthen pots during the performance.
Chakri dance is performed by Kanjars scattered all over the state of Rajasthan. The Chakri dancers from Hadoti areas of Kota, Bundi and Baran districts are famous. Kanjar girls mostly perform Chakri dance during weddings or at the reception of the barats although they dance on many other occasions. The dancers whirl round and round in circles in flowering skirts. As a result, the dancers appear like spinning tops. The accompanying instruments that are used are called ‘Nagara'.
This is popular dance form in the Kishangarh region and involves dancing with a Chari, or pot, on one's head. A lighted lamp is then placed on the pot.
This is a professional dance-form from Jalore. Five men with huge drums around their necks, some with huge cymbals, accompany a dancer who holds a naked sword in his mouth and performs vigorously by twirling three painted sticks.
This is a desert dance is performed by the Jasnathis of Bikaner in which the Jasnathi men and boys jump on to the fire to the accompaniment of drum beats.
Originally a dance of Southern Rajasthan, it is another Holi dance performed only by men. This becomes Dhandia Gair in Jodhpur and Greendad in Shekhwati.
This is typical of the Bhil tribals and is performed during the Holi festival together by men and women dressed in traditional costumes.
This is basically a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions. This is a characteristic dance of the Bhils. Men and women sing alternately and move clockwise and anti-clockwise giving free and intended play to the ample folds of ghagra.
This is a dance performed on dummy horses. Men in elaborate costumes ride well-decorated dummy horses, holding naked swords and dance to the rhythm of the beating of drums.
Tera Taali or Terahtal:
Tera Taali or Terathal is performed by the Kamar community of
Pokhran and Deedwana in honour of their local deity, Baba
Ramdeo. This dance is especially performed during the Ramdevra
Festival, which is held in August of September at the small
village of Ramdevra, near Pokaran in Western Rajasthan. It is a
rather unusual performance where the men play a four-stringed
instrument called a chau-tara and the women sit with dozens of
manjeeras, or cymbals, tied on all over their bodies and strike
them with the ones they hold in their hands.