Curated by Ranjana Dave
Lavani has ruled the stage in many parts of Maharashtra over centuries. It is a form of song and dance that entertains the audience, engages them, and makes them an integral part of the performance.
Traditionally it is performed in Tamasha, an all-inclusive, folk-based form, as well as in Sangeet Bari, an intimate and personalised practice. Gender and sexuality play a pivotal role, with ‘sringar’ (eroticism) as the dominant rasa (flavour) in lavani. Lavani also uses ‘hasya’ (humour) to comment on issues of social relevance, dealing with subjects in a direct and unabashed style. Interestingly, lavani is written by men, for the entertainment of men, yet performed by women.