Source blog: Mumbai daily

Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance in Maharashtra, which is performed to the beats of 

Dholak and Tabla. It is noted for its powerful rhythm and erotic sentiment and has contributed substantially 

to the development of Marathi folk theatre.  
Traditionally, the word Lavani is derived from the word lavanya which means beauty and is performed by 

women wearing nine-yard long saris and adorned with jewelery.
This genre of folk dance deals with different subject matters like religion, politics and romance. The songs in 

'Lavani' are mostly erotic and the dialogues tend to be risque in socio-political satire.
Originally, it was used as a form of entertainment and morale booster to the tired soldiers. Although the origins of Lavani can be traced back to 1560s, it came into prominence during the later days of Peshwa rule.

Honaji Bala introduced tabla in place of the traditional dholki and developed the baithakichi Lavani, a sub-genre, which is presented by the singer in the seated position.
Mohanabai Mahalangrekar, daughter of a nomadic harmonium player grew up performing the suggestive 

songs and dance moves of lavani in villages across Maharashtra. She never went to school, and the traditional Maharashtrian folk dance has been her bread and butter for 40 years now.
Mumbai-based Akanksha Kadam, on the other hand, was introduced to lavani 12 years ago and the 27-

year-old is now popular for the fast-paced, Bollywood-style lavani that she performs in stage shows.
Both of them have their own bands of dancers and musicians and perform this wonderful form of dance in various places throughout the country and sincerely hope that it is not looked down upon but given a stamp of respectability and honour that it deserves as a dance form.
The dance form had acquired such a bad reputation that there was a time when there no women ready to get into it and males had to dress as women and perform. There are 2 real good male performers even today. They are

Anand Satam

and Anil Hankare.
Do check out the slide show below of Lavani - the dance and the dancers! Click on it to see it enlarged in a new window.

All these pictures were taken at a show in Mumbai presented by Bhushan Korgaonkar.

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