Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Kalbeliya Dancers

Today we met Sua, she is a Kalbeliya dancer. She is 32 years old. She has 5 children, the eldest is 18 years old and the youngest is 4 years. Sua has gone outside India 85 times! Mostly she goes to France. She has also gone to several other countries, that is ho great a dancer she is.

Kalbeliya is a tribal group which is on the move at all times. They go around with many animals like donkeys, dogs, chickens etc. when the Kalbeliya people go to any village, they are soon kicked out. This is because their animals sometimes go to other peoples farms and eat all the fruits and eatable things. This is why Sua and her family moved to Jodhpur city in Rajasthan. Their family is one of the few who are not on the move at all times.

This tribal group concentrates only on one day. How they an survive for that day, they do not worry about the next day. Sua says "kal ka kal dekhenge" it means let today pass we will see how tomorrow goes later.

Till 30 years ago the earning for the Kalbeliyan group used to be daily wage labourer or similar works. As many people today know Kalbeliya dance is a great form of art. This tribal group did this dance only in their celebrations like a marriage. Sua said during any festival or celebration time, they would celebrate for the whole month. The mothers of these dancers teach them and that is how this ance is still present through so many generations. Sua also said that she creates new dance steps often but the Bollywood stars rob them from me, so I have to make new dance steps more often.

30 years ago Komal Kothari held a meeting of these great dancers and told them to spread this great art work, it would earn them a lot of fame. That is when Kalbeliya dancers performed on stage and were acknowledged.

The name Kalbeliya (meaning).

These people had a great relationship with sankes, they would first take out the poison of the snake and after that they would keep the snake with them for sometime, controlling it. They knew when the venom would be back in the snakes body and they would release it then, Sua also said they release it because they get old and it is not said to be good if the snake dies in your house. Ad you believe it or not, the dancers say they also learn their dance from the snake, you will see similarity in Kalbeliya dance steps and how the snake moves. If the snake has bit someone, the Kalbeliya people know how to cure them. So coming back to the name, Sua said snakes are black and the Hindi for black is kala so kal comes from that. Kal also means time and Beliya means friend or helper. So Kalbeliya is the helper of someone in their bad times.

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