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Garba is the famous folk dance of Indian State – Gujarat. This dance form has an association with Shakti-Puja (worship of eternal power) and its source is considered to be in the worship of goddess Jagdamba. It is played in a circular form performed by ladies on the nine nights of mainly Navaratri festival and continues till late night.

Highlights of Garba Dance

  1. Garba is derived from Garb which means the woman’s womb and the Diya which is lit inside represents life. 
  2. Garba (or clap dance) in Navaratri signifies Shakti or Divine Female power.
  3. The popular theory says that ras is derived from raslila of Shree Krishna and other theory says the Goddess Durga fights with asuras.
  4. Garba is not limited to any region or specific communities, it is a world-renowned dance and performs across work during the Navratri.
  5. Traditionally, the Garba dance symbolizes womanhood and lately, as per modernization, both men and women perform Garba dance together. 

Origin of Garba Word 

The word Garba is obtained from the word ‘Garbha Deep’ (a lamp inside a perforated earthen pot). The light inside the perforated earthen pot signifies the budding life.

As per historic references, just as Lord Krishna familiarized the Ras dance, Usha the granddaughter-in-law of Lord Krishna is credited to have popularized Lasya Nritya, which is known today by the name of Garba dance.

It is performed during the nine-day Navratri around the Garba Deep or an image of the Goddess, Durga which is placed in the middle of concentric rings as an object of worship. It represents the life cycle that revolves around, changes from birth to death and again the same cycle but the Goddess remains immortal, invincible.

Garba Dance, in its most rustic and fundamental contexts, is a powerful representation of the circle of life and human reliance on the fertility and productivity of the earth. Women dance and sing for hours so that the spinning, bending, and repeated refrains provide a psychological release. The goddess rewards the devotees for their sacrifice and devotion. During their dancing and singing, the women see her amid the twinkling of their mirrored skirts.

Garba Costume Description

Women – The girls and the women wear a three-piece dress – Choli (Decorated Top), colorful blouse and matched with a bottom called Chanya (chaniya), Lahenga/Ghagra. The third piece is Dupatta (scarf), which is usually impaired in the traditional Gujarati manner.

Chaniya Cholis are decorated with pearls, shells, mirrors, stars, and fabrication work, mati, etc. Traditionally, women adorn themselves with Jhumkas (large earrings), necklaces, bindi, bajubandh (armband), and kangans (bangles), kamarbandh (waistband), payal (anklets), and mojiris (traditional shoes).

Men – Boys and men wear kafni pajamas with a Ghagra – a short round kurta – above the knees and pagadi (turban) on the head with bandhini dupatta, men’s bracelet), and mojiris. (Traditional shoes)

Dance Steps

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