Lavni is one of the most popular folk dances in Maharashtra. It has typical music and a set team that includes one or two main dancers, four to six supporting dancers – including a eunuch – and two or three musicians with the most important, dholki-wala – a percussion instrument player. Lavni songs are usually erotic and the costumes worn by the dancers are exotic. All dancers wear nine-meter sarees, called nauvari, which are worn in a typical manner.
Nauvari saree also used to be the traditional Maharashtrian dress worn by married and unmarried women, though for the past two generations, normal sarees had taken its place in the culture. However these days, ladies wear it for fashion in various functions and marriages and it looks really good!
Nauvari sarees can be made of cotton or silk or any other material, but what categorizes it as ‘nauvari’ is the way it is worn. While usual sarees require one to wear a petticoat underneath, nauvaris don’t. Petticoats are nothing but plain, full-length in-skirts that give a saree footing at the waistline. To keep the saree in place at the waist, one needs to tuck the saree inside a petticoat. However, in case of a nauvari saree, one does not need anything, but one can wear stretchable shorts or three-fourths inside for comfort. Here’s how you drape it:
The saree should now look like a normal Indian saree on the upper half of your body and like a multi-pleated pant around both your legs, with some more straight pleats covering the front space between your legs. At this stage, the draping of a nau-wari saree is complete. However, there’s a chance that the legs would ride up when you walk, or the pleats in the front get lose. So, as an extra safety measure, you could pin up the individual legs of the saree around your ankles and also put a pin on the pleats in the front. This will ensure that everything will remain in place even if you run or dance all day long in that saree.