Dance and Music of Haryana
¤ Dances of Haryana
India, music and dance are linked to each other. Often a particular
region will have its own style of dance, relying mainly on its
religious and cultural affinity. Be it a holy festival, the birth of a
child, the harvesting of crop or just good ol one too many of
the hangover liquid, any time is dance time in India.
¤ Phag - A Seasonal Dance
Haryana has its own hip shakers. Phag is the seasonal one, when the
farmer, unable to control his happiness on seeing his blooming
harvest, breaks into dancing. No kidding; he actually shakes a leg,
and shakes it for 15 days and stops only in March when its time
for Holi, the festival of colours. Both men and women do it with each
other, and sometimes they do it with themselves.
Then theres the Dhamal, whose origin goes back to the days of
the Mahabharat. The Raas is also an ancient dance and is associated
with Krishna, the flirtatious god. The Loor is performed by girls
during the month of Phalguna (spring), and is so named because the
word loor means girl in the Bangar area of Haryana. Women do the
Jhoomar, whose name is derived from an ornament worn by married women
on their foreheads. Another all-women affair is the dance during the
¤ Ratvai Dance
During the rains, the famous Ratvai dance is the favourite of the
Mewatis. The Been-bansuri dance goes on with the accompaniment
of been (a wind instrument) and bansuri (flute). An earthen pitcher is
used as a miniature drum, with its mouth covered with strips of rubber
and played with both hands. For the Gugga dance, devotees of Gugga (a
saint) dance around his grave in his honour and sing songs in his
Marriages are another occasion for a dance. The Khoria is popular
when a boy is getting married, while the Ghoomar and the Gangaur puja
dances are religious.
¤ Music In Haryana
Every dance is accompanied with music or singing which, in India, can
sound like music when sung like it is supposed to be sung. The
tradition of music in Haryana goes back to the Vedic times, and it is
the only state in India to have towns and villages named after
Haryana is rich in folk music, whose roots are firmly entrenched in
the clasical music of yore. The famous Sringar rasa (based on love
songs) has an indirect association with renowned ragas like Bhairavi,
Jayjaywanti, Gara (a persian style), Khamaj and Kafi.
However, the folk singer has no idea what a raga is and just goes out
Mainly string instruments are used to make music. The sarangi is
generally preferred. For the wind instruments, the been and the
bansuri provide lilting tunes in tandem with the the dholak, a drum
usually played with the palms or little sticks. A matka (earthen
pitcher) may replace the dholak in certain areas to form the backbeat.
The Jogis, Bhats and Sangis are the people who have made folk music
popular in Haryana. The Jogis prefer the sarangi to form the musical
backdrop to their songs which revolve around tales of chivalry and
There are other famous instruments which are used along with singing.
The shehnai (a flute-like instrument played mainly at weddings),
shankh (conch shell) harmonium, damru (a small palm-held drum with
strings attached to beads which hit the sides when shaken), nagara,
ghungru, tasha, khanjri and manjira. Musical genuises, these
Haryanavis; they create music even with matchsticks, papaya (yes, the
fruit!), the hard core of a mango and a strip of wood.