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About Tamasha Dance – Dances of India

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Tamasha Dance

In the Persian language, the word Tamasa or Tamasha means fun and entertainment. This dance form or Tamsa has been derived from an ancient Sanskrit drama form called the ‘Bhana’ and the ‘Prahsana’. Modern-day Tamasa troupes are divided into two sections.

One is Song-dance troupe and the other is Folk-drama troupe. Tamasa generally or usually starts with a devotional song which is followed by a drama sequence called as Gaulan. Love songs such as lavanis are the true spirit of Tamasa and are quite popular.

Musical instruments such as drum, dholki, tuntuni which is a single string instrument, manjeera cymbals, daf that is similar to a tambourine-like instrument having a single leather surface, halgi considered as a smaller daf, a metal triangle called kad, a lejim which is an instrument with a jangling sound, the harmonium and the ghunghroos or ankle bells are used to increase the level of magic in the dance.

Tamasha- The Marathi Drama

It has also been the subject of several Marathi films. Some Hindi movies have also included Tamasha-themed songs, known as Lavanis, in the past.

Tamasa got a distinct status in the late Peshwa period of the Maratha Empire in the 18th century.

During that time it introduced elements from older traditional forms like Gondhal, Kirtan, Dasavatar, and Waghya-murali which is a part of Khandoba Bhakti Geet, amongst followers of the local god Khandoba.

Traditional Tamasa format consists of boy dance known as Nachya where they also play the women’s roles. There was a poet-composer named Shahir who played the role of Sutradhar or a jester

A folktale in a dramatic way

Traditional or professional tamasa practitioners are from castes like Mahar, Kolhati, Bhatu, and Mang belonging from rural regions of Maharashtra who are considered low castes within the Indian caste system.

This dance or play form is widely considered and performed in the modern world which means that no matter whether it was the tradition of low caste people it has a status in the modern world.


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