Garba Dance is a traditional Gujarati dance form, usually played during the nine nights of Navratri. This dance name is derived from the Sanskrit word "Garbha" means Womb and "Deep" means a small earthern lamp. Originated in the state of Gujarat in India, Garba is a form of dance that has a deep link with Shakti Puja and it is played to worship Goddess Jagdamba. In the traditional Garba, people put the earthern lamp or Goddess Shakti image (Ambe Maa) in the center of the circle. It is usually played in a circular form for nine nights during the Navratri festival. Also known as Garbha, Garbi, or Garbha Deep, it is often performed around a big lamp or an idol of Goddess Shakti in a circle. The light inside the divine Garbha Deep signifies value of knowledge and embryonic life.
Navratri means Garba season. It’s the time when you dance until you cannot stand any longer. If you are looking forward to learn the steps of Garba Dance, the following steps can help you learn:
- The scissor step
- The clap and snap step
- The ek thali and turn step
- The forward bend clap step
- The teen taali step
- The two-step dodhiyu with a turn step
- The do-taali step
- The four step dandiya step
- The 1101 step
During the dance, people can be seen in the bright colors attire like red, yellow, pink, maroon and other bright colors. Ladies wear the Ghanghra Choli or Chaniya Choli aaand uses the matching Dupatta. Ladies put the two-three heavy neclaces in their neck, bangels in hand and Kamar bandh in their waist.
To perform Garba dance, all the ladies place a pot called ‘Garbha’ on their heads and proceed together in a circular direction and clap, sing and dance accompanied by folk instruments. A coconut is placed on the top of the pot and a silver coin and betel nut are placed within the pot. Women move around the earthen pot clapping and singing devotional songs in honor of Goddess Jagdamba.
The songs are further accompanied by Garba Nritya, which usually starts at night. A drummer who sits at the center balances the rhythm. Many-a-times, women also keep mandavali on their heads, which is prepared with bamboo chips wrapped with a red cloth. ‘Mandavali’ depict the Goddess and the ladies place it on their heads for some time and then place it at the center.