Rajasthani Kalbelia Dance
Rajasthani Gypsy, or Kalbelia, Dance is fun, lively, folkloric and non-technical. It is characterized by rhythmic stomps, hip movements and kicks, ever-changing hand movements, spinning, dancing on the knees, and dancing with partners. It is a dance for fun and celebration. Many people have seen this dance in the Indian portion of the film Latcho Drom (the young woman, Suva Devi, doing barrel turns under the tree).
Annya Ishtara studied dance with Kalbelia women in Rajasthan, India. The Kalbelia people are the gypsies of Rajasthan. Snake charming is one of the traditional occupations of these formerly nomadic people. Many scholars believe that gypsies originated in northwest India (the area of Rajasthan) and traveled through Asia to Egypt, Turkey, and beyond into Europe and other parts of the world. As part of understanding one of the many roots of bellydance, Annya went to India to learn dances of the Kalbelia people. She also studied Ghoomar Ladies Dance, another folkloric dance, while in Rajasthan.