Famous as ‘land of festivals, Gujarat celebrates a huge array of festivals with great pomp and show. People perform traditional dances based on their rich culture and traditions. Various dance forms and songs of Gujarat are popular all over the country. Many of these dance forms are quite old. Here is a list of 5 popular folk dances from gujarat.
The name Bhavai is derived from Sanskrit word “Bhava” which means emotions/ feelings. The Bhavai drama is a continuous performance which lasts for the whole night without any stage equipment. It includes issues from social life in a satirical way. Usually women don’t perform in Bhavai and male artists perform female roles as well. the origin of the dance is believed to be from Asait, a Brahmin from north of Gujarat. Bhavai is usually performed in open grounds drawing from the events in the lives of the contemporary people.
Dandiya: Most popular folk dances from Gujarat
This dance form actually stages a mock-fight between the Goddess Durga and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king. During dandiya, dancers move their feet and arms in a complicated, choreographed manner with dhol being used as complementary percussion instrument. The sticks (dandiyas) of dance represent the swords of Durga.
The costume for women is traditional like colorful embroidered choli and ghagra with men wearing special turbans and kedias. Garba is usually performed before Aarti in the honor of the Goddess, while Dandiya is performed after it as a part of celebration.
Garba is a form of dance where the name is derived from the Sanskrit term Garbha (womb) and Deep (lamp). Traditional garba is performed around a central lamp or around Goddess Shakti. This circular & spiral movements have similarities to other spiritual dances like those of Sufi culture. Traditionally, it is performed during Navratri. The movements represent the cycle of life from birth to death with the only thing being Goddess Shakti. The dance symbolizes that God, in feminine form in Garba, is the only constant in a constantly changing world.
Men and women usually wear colorful costumes while performing both garba and dandiya.
Padhar dance is one of the prominent folk dances from Gujarat performed by people belonging to Padhar Community. Padhar people are followers of Hinduism and they worship various forms of Goddess Durga. When performing this dance form the people are in a mood of excitement and frenzy. People indulge in a lot of fun, merry making, music and dance.
Tippani folk dance from Gujarat comes from Chorwad district. It has women from seaside striking the floor with sticks and chanting, while other women dance. With simple musical equipment like ‘Thali’, the dancers produce the music. It shows the boredom created by long trips of their men to the ocean. This dance is one of the patterns of the vigorous dance forms of the folk dance in Gujarat. Although, the dance starts gradually, the rapidity increase with the dancers alternately striking the ground. Towards the end, all women sit in rows and smack the floor very fast. Costumes for the dance consist of a short coat known as ‘“Kedia’ with tight sleeves.