The Kalbeliyas, is a snake-charmer community from Rajasthan, which performs the Kalbeliya dance. They rely heavily on this dance performance for their living. The Kalbeliya women dancers wear long, black coloured, drindled-skirts heavily worked with embroidery and light-coloured thread along with small pieces of mirrors. This costume draws the attention in a somewhat strange way.
Kalbeliya is one of the opulent dance forms of Rajasthan. It is performed by the snake charmers community. Kal means snake and beliya means friend. Snakes are really friendly to them and one cannot see any fear in the people belonging to this community regarding snake catching. They are expert in catching all types of snakes, removing the poison from the snakes, removing the skin , carrying them on their shoulders. These are all daily routine jobs for them. At the time of wedding along with the other items snake is one of the important gift items which is given as a souvenir. No marriage is complete without it.
Female folks of this community are excellent at performing the dance. Their flexible bodies are compared to the sleek and flexible bodies of snakes. As the snakes don't have any bones in them and this is what makes them so flexible in their movements so are the movements of the kalbeliyans. They are too excellent in their performances. Spinning around is the main act which they do with all their flexibilities and their speed works on the beats.
The dance costume is very attractive. They wear long black skirts decorated with silver ribbons or gota (local language word for the silver ribbon), danglers, bead strings, traditional bangles. . They dance with their wale covering their face but then also the dancers please the viewers with all their movements. "
The dance is usually performed by a group of two women standing in the center of the stage. After this pair, another pair of women come & dances in the same way. As the women dancers move in a circle, while dancing, their body sway acrobatically, leaving an impression that they are made up of some flexible material like rubber. The beat of the dance increases in tempo and also there is an increase in their pace of the dance. This dance performance leaves viewer as exhausted as the dancer. The overall performance consists of many fearful actions performed by dancers. The performance relies heavily to the music of `been` and `duff`. The actual fun of their performance can be enjoyed at the gatherings somewhere around the festival of Holi.
The dancers are required to constantly decrease the tempo of their gyrations and move to the corners to catch their breath while two other dancers would spin around to take their places in the center. The specialty of this dance is that the dancers perform it in a beautiful synchronized rhythm that for a moment the audience feels they are the same dancers that continue throughout the performance.