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असेट प्रकाशक

Lavni

Exclusively created for the entertainment of the masses, a heady mixture of dance, music and acting, Lavni is a performing art form that is part and parcel of the rural culture of Maharashtra since the medieval period.


Exclusively created for the entertainment of the masses, a heady mixture of dance, music and acting, Lavni is a performing art form that is part and parcel of the rural culture of Maharashtra since the medieval period.
Meant initially for the entertainment of the warriors, Lavni was performed at the camps of soldiers to keep the war fatigue at bay. Apart from this Lavni was performed at the yearly festivals in rural Maharashtra regularly. The Yatra-s can be termed as stress-relieving congregations for the masses besides being religious in nature. The oldest Lavni that is available is from the 16th century and was written by Veerashaiva Saint Manmath Swami. This Lavni is religious and is a description of how Mahalaxmi the Kuladevata of the Shilahara-s appeared in Karad in Satara District.
Lavni in its current form, developed during the regime of later Peshava’s in the late 18th to early 19th century. Shahir-s Ramjoshi, Honaji Bala, Parashram, Saganbhau, Anant Fandi and Prabhakar are some of the famous exponents of Lavni of that period. Shahir Ramjoshi penned Lavani-s in Marathi as well as Sanskrit. Shahir-s Patthe Bapurao, Haibati, Lahari Haider are a few names that ruled the roost during the British period. Modern times threw up excellent poets to the likes of G.D. Madgulkar, Jagdish Khebudkar, P. Savalaram etc.
Lavni basically deals with stories about relations between men and women. The stories of Gopika-s and Krishna appear quite repetitively in many of the Lavni-s. The Shahir-s and the poets alike have dealt with different aspects of erotica in their rendering of the songs. Apart from erotica subjects like Mythology, Spirituality and other cosmics have also been extensively catered to, by the poets. Musical instruments like Dholki, Halgi, Tuntuney, Zanj accompany the singers and the performers. The exception is Baithakichi Lavani which is performed indoors and to cater to a select audience. 
Lavni can be categorised in three basic forms such as Shahiri Lavni is performed by a Shahir and accompanied by a chorus and is in a form poetic story-telling., Baithakichi Lavni is performed by women singers and dancers to accompaniment of musical instruments like Tabla, Sarangi, Harmonium etc.  The Fadachi Lavni is a troupe performance, that is a mixture of dance, dialogues and acting besides songs. Baleghati, Chhakkad, Sawal-Jawab and Chowka are the four different types of Fadachi Lavni.
Lavni had lost its lustre and popularity with the educated class due to excessive vulgarity that crept in it over some time. Since then, the Maharashtra Government is making concerted efforts to bring back the golden era of this performing art form by organising seminars and congregations for the uneducated artists. Maharashtra Government is also felicitating the Lavni artists who are pursuing the traditional form of Lavni.

Districts/Region

Maharashtra, India.

Cultural Significance

Exclusively created for the entertainment of the masses, a heady mixture of dance, music and acting, Lavni is a performing art form that is part and parcel of the rural culture of Maharashtra since the medieval period.


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