Garba dance holds a deep significance on Navratri celebrations in Gujarat. Get more details on Navratri garba dance.
Navratri Garba - Where folksy meets the contemporary, the tradition of Navratri Garba has set a peculiar example of bringing India's folk history to the forefront. Much of the dynamism and zestfulness associated with the Navratri Garba celebrations owes itself to the festivities involved. Garba, the indigenous dance form that has gained popularity for its rhythmic nature and energetic steps is an integral part of it. Yet, Navratri Garba is more than its dance and music routine, as it celebrates the dynamic feminine power represented by Ma Shakti or the Universal Mother.
Typically, Garba dance in Navratri involves circular motions around a perforated clay pot with a lamp inside it. Known as 'Garbha-deep', it represents the protective core of life.
Navratri Garba is performed to the beats of 'dhol' or rhythmic hand clappings and in newer versions, to rhythmic live music that lifts the tempo of the dance. Women also place this pot on their heads with a coconut on top and dance in a show of skill associated with balance and harmony. As sticks click in synchronization and women sway in circular motion, the dancing gains momentum during the course of the performance. Performers sing folk songs that comprise rich verses on Lord Krishna or eulogize the nine aspects of Ma Shakti. In fact, the Garba style of dancing has evolved from an ancient dance form called 'Lasya Nritya'.
Dandiya-Raas is a Garba Gujarati dance that is performed with bamboo sticks. The strong music components in singing and dancing in Garba has been passed on through the ages, dating back to Lord Krishna's time.
As mesmerizing as the Garba Gujarati dance is, the events associated with Navratri Garba celebration unwittingly becomes an opportunity to showcase Indian culture. The massive scale of Garba events is a strong feature of Navratri Garba celebration. GMDC Grounds in Ahmedabad is a hub of activity during this time as it enjoys government support. Famous 'garba' singers are invited to perform from their repertoire to regale the audience who turn up in huge numbers to dance. Clubs and cultural committees work out innovative plans for the event, as each year sees further innovations in stage performances. Manek Chowk is another important venue in Ahmedabad for enjoying Garba dance in Navratri.
Dance troupes also perform, showing off a perfectly choreographed dancing act. Also, in clubs and open spaces, men and women are seen matching steps as they try out different styles of Dandiya such as 'Dodhiyu', 'Popatiyu', 'Trikoniya', 'Lehree' in typical fashion around the figure of Goddess Durga kept right in the middle.
Garba Gujarati dance is performed in an evening setting which makes it even more colorful and attractive to watch. Women, children and men participating in Navratri Garba make for a kaleidoscopic look as they whirl in full fervor dressed in the most colorful clothes embellished with attractive patterns of embroidery. Young girls and women accessorize their Ghaghara-choli and head cover set with silver and imitation jewellery. For men, a colorful headpiece completes the kedia-dhoti look.