Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Garba!!! The most fascinating dance in my point of view...I came to know about Garba in my 11th std, for a dance performance and from then I have always loved Garba. Garba traces its origin to Gujarat. Wikipedia says, " Garba is derived from the Sanskrit term Garbha ("womb") and Deep ("a small earthenware lamp")." Many traditional garbas are performed around a centrally lit lamp or a picture or statue of the Goddess Shakti. Garba is usually performed during the celebration of Navaratri. As far as I know, Garba requires the dancers to form a circle. And they perform varieties of formations in the circle. Modern garbas combine traditional garba and Dandiya (performed by men) to create a high-energy dance. 

Garba Overseas

Garba and Dandiya Raas are also popular in the United States where more than 20 universities have Raas/Garba competitions on a huge scale every year with professional choreography. Garba is also very popular in the United Kingdom where there are a number of Gujarati communities who hold their own garba nights and widely popular among the Gujarati community even in Canada, where the largest navratri festival in the western world is held annually in Toronto. They say "Ae Hallo" for fun, which means "Come on! Lets start!" 

Edmonton, the capital of Canadian province of Alberta has a rich significance on Garba. The Edmonton girls, with their grace and femininity won the Raas-Garba Competition at Vancouver in 2007.


Garba costume

Girls who dance garba like to wear heavy jewelry and ghagra choli. Lehenga or Ghagra is a beautifully embroidered and pleated long skirt. Choli is an Indian type blouse. The Dupatta is a long shawl that comes with the choli and lehenga.  The traditional costume of the Garba dancer is red, pink, yellow, orange, and brightly colored. They also wear heavy jewelry, such as 2-3 necklaces, sparkling bangles, waist belts and long oxidized earrings.

Garba and Bollywood

Right from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Deepika Padukone, there has been certain wonderful Garba tracks in Hindi cinemas. Some of the best Garba songs are

  • Dhol Baje - Hum dil de chuke sanam
  • Shubhaarambh - Kai Po Che
  • Sabse Bada Tera Naam - Suhaag
  • Chand Aaya hai - Dil hi dil mein
But the best of all is Deepika's and Ranveer Singh's Garba song from the movie "RamLeela" that goes "Hey dhin thadak dhinthadak...aaja ud ke sarat". Deepika's red lehenga add to the beauty of the steps choreographed by Samir and Harsh Tanna.