LAVANI DANCE

Maharashtra
Sunday August 22nd | 9.30 AM EDT

Via Community Box partner Artkhoj. Tickets are processed in Indian Rupee.

Dipannita 1.jpg
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Facilitated by

Anil Hankare

Supported with the help of

Janhavi Phansalkar

Lavani is a traditional folk genre of music popular in Maharashtra. It dates back to the 17th century and came into prominence during the Peshawa rule. It is known for its powerful rhythm, and more particularly, the adaakaari (refers to striking facial expressions and movements as part of the dance performance). The word Lavani is derived from the word Lavanya which means beauty. Traditionally, this genre connects to varied subject matters; the most popular being the ‘shringarik’ (romantic) lavani, but also includes ‘nirguni’ (spiritual)
poetry and several compositions dealing with social issues. There are different types of lavani songs, varying in subject matter or tempo. The dancers wear the traditional 9 yard sarees, special jewellery and elaborate make-up for their performance. The lavani dance is presented by women as well as men.


Anil Hankare started his training in lavani dance at the age of 14, when a newspaper advertisement by the Usankar Ballet Unit caught his interest. He had no background in dance whatsoever. However, he surprised everybody by his prodigious talent. His guru had asked him to learn three dance forms in one year — young Anil ji learnt 5 dance forms in one month! He began his career dancing as a woman named ‘Madhu’, and nobody knew about his real identity! He reached the heights of popularity through his ‘secret’ role as Madhu. He has curated a program called ‘Bin Baykancha Tamasha’ (Lavani without Women), in which he encouraged several men to come forward as Lavani dancers, thereby breaking the gender-barrier. He has performed at several prestigious platforms in India and has also toured in Germany.

During the 2 hour session, participating artists will:
- Get introduced to some of the insights from the art form, & its tradition, and the creative practice of the key artist
-Interact with activities around some key elements of the art form
- View a performance demonstration by the artist

Conducted in Marathi with live translation by volunteer.