This beautiful, misunderstood dance form has multiple meanings in Marathi. From “lavan karne” which means to transplant to “Lavanya” which suggests beauty and eroticism, Lavani defies neat categorization and plays with genres from folk to erotic to mythology. The versatility of this dance form epitomizes both its strength and its contentiousness within various fields of academic and cultural criticism.
On Dec 3, from 11 am to 7 pm, we explored the complex nature of Lavani: watching documentary films, learning from the masters at an intimate dance-theatre workshop, spending time with Sandesh Bhandare's alluring photographic exhibition on Tamasha, and engaging with the best minds at our star-studded panel discussions. And because the event could noe be completed without a performance, we culminated with a coming together of the many forms of Lavani in a grand finale that was simply unmissable!
Lavani LIVE! was curated by our very own Godrej India Culture Lab scholar Sejal Yadav, who is a danseuse and a PhD Candidate in the Centre for Political Studies department at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The festival was an extension of her M.Phil dissertation, “The politics of performance: A case study of changing forms of Lavani in contemporary Maharashtra”.