Entertainers and performers have always been an integral part of the culture of Rajasthan. The Royal families of Rajasthan, who have always been patrons of art and culture in the State, would invite dancers and musicians to perform at their courts and these groups traveled through the state, staging and reciting these tales of passion and valour through the land. It was customary for families to invite performers to sing and dance at all the family celebrations and other festive occasions. These performances have now become a major tourist attraction !
Most of the folk dances of Rajasthan are very graceful, but, require great skill and dexterity on the part of the dancers. One such dance, the ‘Bhavai’ is the traditional folk dance of Rajasthan. It requires great skill and precision on the part of the dancers, who dance and gyrate while balancing as many as seven to eleven earthern pots on their heads with the soles of their feet perched on the top of a glass or on the edge of the sword or on the rim of a brass thali. While watching these dances one feels one is watching an acrobatic act!
Traditionally, these dances are performed by female performers who honed this exceptional balancing skill by carrying pots of water, from wells or oasis, on their heads over long distances in the desert. The accompaniment to the dance is usually provided by male musicians.