One of the many dances that celebrate the spring season is Rayee prevalent in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The cold winter months over, the pleasant spring air inspires village folk to go gay. The harvest reaped and garnered, create a sense of security. It is the time for the rural folk to hold night long sessions of Raye. It is performed by dancing girls known as Bedani. The risqué overtones in their dancing and accompanying songs inspire spontaneous giggles and cat calls. The Bedani dancer wears an ample skirt which falls down to the ankles and a chic tight fitting blouse. She covers her upper part of the body with veil called Odhani. She wears a broad silver band on her waist. She also wears ornaments on her wrists and arms. The ornament worn over her head is called Shishphool, literally meaning head flower. Accompaniment is provided by a drummer who dances with the Bedani while playing the drum. The other accompanists do not dance and forming a group they play on the Timki, a small drum played with lean bamboo sticks, the Dhapla, a side drum, cymbals, and an S-shaped trumpet. They also sing in chorus picking up the refrain from the dancer. In the beginning of the dance invocatory songs are sung which are followed by more mundane songs highlighting the intimate, warm, and earthy aspects or rural life. Love lures naturally abound and the most intimate moments are evocatively portrayed by the dancers.
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