Folk dance is a form of art, which has evolved naturally through a period of thousand years in every village of any country. Folk means country people. These people demonstrate their joy, religious sentiments and cultural bindings through the form of dance. In Maharashtra different folk dances are performed during festive occasions that represent their culture and merry-making.
The religious folk dances in Maharashtra are the 'Dindi'
and 'Kala' dances, which are expressions of religious ecstasy. On the
occasion of the "Mangalagouri Puja" young women dance a variety
of folk dance known as "Phugadis".
During the month of Bhadrapada, in villages, the agricultural classes enthusiastically observe the "Bharadi Gauri" festival with singing, dancing and merry-making. In the same month while the sun is in the thirteenth constellation of the zodiac called "Hasta" or the Elephant, girls unmarried or newly married give a typical semi-dance known as "Hadga" or "Bhondla" and sing specially composed Hadga or "Bhulabai" songs.
Hole or Simga festival declaring the advent of the spring is spent in boisterous activities to include the performance of a Tamasha troupe. Another dance of the ecstatic kind is the Mahalaksmi dance better known as "Ghagar Phunkane", exclusively practiced by women of the 'Sitapavan Brahman Community' at the time of Mahalaksmi worship in the bright half of Asvin (also spelt as Ashvin).
In Maharashtra Dindi is a dance performed usually during Ekadashi day in the month of Kartik. This religious devotional dance describes the playful attitude of Lord Krishna. Dindi is a small drum, like a 'Tamate'. The musicians in the centre comprising of a Mridangam player and a vocalist, give the dancers surrounding them the necessary musical background. As the rhythm accelerates, the dancers form into two rows, stamp their right feet, bow, and advance with their left feet, making geometric formations.
The Kala dance also describes the playful attitude of Lord Krishna. This dance form features a pot symbolizing fecundity. A group of dancers form a double-tiered circle with other dancers on their shoulders. On top of this tier a man breaks the pot and splashes curds over the naked torsos of the dancers. After this ceremonial opening, the dancers twirl sticks and swords in a feverish battle dance. The main attraction of this dance is the beat and the rhythm.