Olivia here – I recently went back to India for my 5th time, to learn a new style of Indian dance. I’d like to tell you all about it here…
This time I went to learn some Rajasthani dance and buy costumes and jewellery for my Bollywood dance company (Bollywood Vibes).
The dance I teach and perform is mostly Bollywood and Bhangra dance. I wanted to learn a new style, and take some classes in the Rajasthani dance. They mostly do a Classical Indian dance style called Kathak. It involves lots of storytelling throughout the dance. They also a dance called Ghooma.
Ghooma is a folk dance which is widely performed in Rajasthan. It focuses on the long colourful skirts that the women wear to dance in. When they spin (and there is lots of spinning), the skirts create a dance of their own as they fly out. It is usually danced in a circle.
The dancers faces are also covered with a veil to give them an air of mystery and to protect their modesty. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped during this dance.
They also do a lot of puppetry and you see puppets hung up in shops all over the place. I couldn’t resist and bought two so that I can show them to children in my dance workshops. The two that I bought represent Rama and Sita, so these will be great for showing in our Diwali dance workshops.
I watched a dance show one night in a beautiful ornate courtyard. They danced the Ghooma and it was great to see it in action.
There was a hilarious puppet dance where it was like the puppets had come alive, they were so good at moving them. They also did a dance balancing many pots on their heads, some flaming. They danced on what looked like broken glass – it was very exciting!
It was all very impressive and colourful, and a great evening of magical entertainment. I had a fun experience learning a new dance style, and one I am looking forward to teaching in my dance workshops.