'The Queen Harish show' as it is popularly known in Rajasthan, comprises of the most quintessential Rajasthani folk dances such as Ghoomar, Kalbeliya, Chang, Bhavai, Chari and many more. Heading up the event is Harish, popularly known as ‘Queen Harish’.
Harish is a native of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. A household name in Jaisalmer, Harish clads himself in a heavily sequined traditional vibrant ghagra-choli, along with ornaments such as dangle earrings, armloads of bangles, anklets and waistband, and then he is no longer the macho man that he is, but becomes astoundingly feminine! A real drag queen.
Various cities of Rajasthan offer a glimpse of lively folk dances in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. Folk dances like the Ghoomar from Udaipur, Kalbeliya from Jaisalmer, have gained worldwide recognition.
“Several tourists who come to Jaisalmer, often ask organisers what's new? and the organisers point to my show!. Our show offers an unusual entertainment package deal. My dance style is a fusion of Ghoomar, classical, Bollywood dance steps, folk dance, Sufi and belly dance. Moreover, this show is a potpourri of cultural dances that feature breath-taking dance moves, uses several props and is a visual feast. Personal interaction and dancing sessions with the audience are the USP's of this two-hour spectacle,” says Queen Harish.
Dance has been Harish's passion from childhood. He embarked on his journey towards folk dance from a very young age. He lost his parents at the age of 12. With none of his relatives offering to take care of him and his sisters, Harish had to survive on his own. His days started by preparing lunch for his little sisters, dropping them to school, completing household chores, then performing in the night to earn a mere Rs 50 per day.
Jaisalmer was conservative n those days, and humiliation became a part of Harish's life. A boy dressing up as a girl for the folk dances was a no-no as those were the times when girls were confined to their homes and wore veiled faces in public while the men were known for their red-blooded machismo.
Though down on his luck, he persevered and nurtured his family and his learnt profession. Steadily, he learned several traditional dance forms. But that learning came at a cost. He did the household chores of his team and in return they taught him new skills, which he eagerly lapped up.
Harish says his first break came when he and his team were invited to perform in Europe. This opportunity changed the trajectory of his life. There was no looking back for him after that and participated in several reality shows. He even reached the semi-finals of the 'India’s Got Talent' reality show. He also performed in several item songs for regional films, as well as Bollywood films such as 'Jai Gangaajal'. Harish also shook his leg on Isha Ambani’s pre-wedding functions.
Harish is married and has children. He says that his family and relatives feel proud of his accomplishments. Harish has trained more than 15000 students in India and around the world.
With all these accomplishments, Harish believes in giving a sensual and feminist stage performance. He believes that a woman has immeasurable power compared to a man, because of his experience as a woman! What he couldn’t achieve as a man, he believes has accomplished as a drag queen.
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