Rediscovering Gavari – 2016

PosterNow dated to at least the 16th century, the Mewari Bhils’ ecstatic Gavari folk opera cycle is a mysterious, sprawling and exquisitely theatrical festival tradition that:

1. embodies religious rapture, spectacular dance, mythic history, and biting satire;

2. annually illuminates over six hundred villages in one of India’s most legendary princely states;

3. requires strict austerities from all performers and takes a full 40 days to complete;

4. features a wide diversity of new & ancient dance dramas each lasting from 20 min to several hours;

5. epitomizes an inspiring indigenous eco-spirituality and egalitarian vision relevant to the entire world; and

6. notwithstanding all these virtues and our era’s ubiquitous media, remains almost totally unknown.

Whether in terms of scale, complexity, antiquity or contemporary eco-social significance, Gavari is a world class intangible cultural heritage marvel. Yet despite all its historic, spiritual and artistic riches, Gavari has never been adequately recognized either at home or abroad. This disregard has multiplied the modern challenges to its survival and integrity and is accelerating its decline.

This project represent a collaborative effort by Udaipur’s Collectorate, Tribal Research Institute, Mewar Adivasi Samiti, Tourist Department, Nagar Nigam, West Zone Culture Centre, Big Medicine Charitable Trust, Tuneer Films & Merijanmbhumi to bring more awareness and respect to the Gavari tradition so it can continue to evolve, inspire and thrive.