Women of the Mali community of Kishangarh region of Rajasthan perform Chari dance on the occasion of the birth of a son. It is also called Charwa. Chari literally means a brass pitcher. The dance is called Chari because each of the dancers balances a brass pitcher on her head. On the mouth of the pitcher is put a bowl of fire; flames going up more than one foot high. The dancers spin and make swaying movements yet they never lose the balance of the pitcher. The dancers wear their best dress and dance to the music of Dhol, the drum, Shehnai, the reeded wind instrument, and two idiophones, namely, Thali and Bankia.
In the eastern part of Rajasthan Kathchi Ghori dance is mostly performed at the time of marriage ceremony. The dance is generally performed by dancers belonging to Kumbhar and Bavaria communities. As the name of the dance suggests, it is a dance of false horse rider. To the both ends of a pair of bamboo rods two baskets are tied. The head of a horse prepared with paper-mache is fixed to one of the baskets. To the other a bunch of flex fibers are tied to suggest the tail of the horse. The dancer gets into the dummy horse at the middle of the space between the two bamboo rods and adjusts it at his waist so that it appears as if he was riding a horse. The dancer is dressed like a bridegroom. Traditionally, four to five dancers perform the dance. The musical accompaniment to the dance is provided by Dhol, the dium, and Turahi, a wind instrument made of brass.
The Bhil tribal community of Rajasthan performs Jhoria dance at the time of marriage ceremony. Both men and women perform the dance. The male dancers form one circle and the female dancers form another and dance to the music provided by Dhol, the drum, Shehnai, the reeded wind instrument, and Nagara, a large bowl-shaped drum with one face.
The Dandia Gair dance is performed only by men on the occasion of the Holi festival held on the full moon day of the lunar month of Phalguna (February/March). The two main aspects that make the dance fascinating are the costume worn by the dancers and the swirling pirouettes executed by them. The dancers wear white Chudidar Pyjamas and red Angarakhas, a gown-like garment highly flared from the waist with numerous pleats. For making one such Angarakha, twenty five to thirty meters of cloth is needed. When the dancers make fast swirling motion, the flared skirt opens up like an umbrella. The dancers move in a spiral-like formation with swirling motion. It is feast for the eyes when the dancers swirl fast. The red and white combination and the moving umbrella like skirt present a grand spectacle. A long strand of jinglbells (ghungroo) spirals from the ankle up to the knee.The sound of these myriad jinglebells mingles beautifully with the percussion music provided by Dhol, Nagara (bowl shaped drum with one face), Thali (gong-like idiophone) and Khartal, the castanets.
The fishermen community of Orissa, especially in the district of Ganjam, perform Chaiti Ghoda nata in a festival that lasts for about nine days beginning from the full moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra (April). It is a dummy horse dance. Similar dances are performed in other parts of the country, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan. The dummy-horse dance in Orissa is performed traditionally when the spring season is departing leading to the on set of summer. The fishermen community in Orissa is known as Keuta, derived from the Sanskrit word Kaivarta. The dance and the festival is closely associated and inspired by an Oriya puranic literature named Kaivarta Purana which tells the story behind the fishermen’s killing fish. The puranic story in brief is : The Supreme God slept on the leaf of a banyan tree that floated on the ocean of milk. To keep the leaf-bed steady someone is required to hold the rudder firmly. Therefore, he took some dirt from his ear and shaped a man. He breathed life into the man and asked him to hold the rudder firmly. Once while he was dozing, a gigantic fish came and swallowed up the man. When he did not find the man, the all-knowing God could realize the reason behind the disappearance of the man. He was angry. He caught the fish and pulled out the man from the stomach of the fish. The man was re-engaged in his duty. From that day man became one of the most vindictive enemy of fish. As ordained by God the first Kaivarta (fisherman) and his descendants earn their livelihood by catching fish. A part of the banyan leaf was transformed into a horse. The God ordered Vishwakarma, the celestial craftsman, to build a boat. Relieving the man from his duty of holding the rudder of the leaf-bed, he asked the man to cross the ocean in the boat with the horse. The divine horse died on the eighth day of the lunar month of Vaishakha. God consoled the man saying that the horse was the goddess named Basuli and her worship will bring him salvation. From that day the Kaivarta (Keuta in colloquial Oriya) community hold the festival in which goddess Basuli is worshipped and the dummy-horse dance is performed.
The festival in honor of goddess Basuli and the Chaiti Ghoda dance ends on the eighth day of Vaishakha. At times, a female dancer joins the man with the dummy horse. The accompanying music is provided by Dhol, the drum, and Mahuri, the reeded wind instrument like Shehnai.
In Rajasthan, several dances, such as, Gher, Gait Geedad, Duff Nach, Chang Nach, Dandia Gair, etc are performed to celebrate the spring season, particularly at the time of Holi festival.