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Folk Dances of Gujarat

  • Palli-Jag-Garbo:

    palli jag garabo - a folk dance of Gujarat.   Click to view  larger image.The word Garbo or Garaba has originated from Sanskrit word "Garbhdeep"- an earthen pot with circular holes is popularly known as Garbo. The earthen pot is symbol of human body and the lighten lamp inside signifies the divine soul. It is believed that Usha,daughter of king Banasur of Assam and wife of Aniruddha, the grand son of Lord Krishna is the creator of Garaba. Every nook and corner of Gujarat throbs with Garbo during Navratri, the nine-night festival. In the north Gujarat, decorated "Phool Mandvi" adds colour and beauty to the worship of Shakti. This traditional dance form has been taken to stage with innovations in music, choreography, and costumes and has enthralled audience with its beauty.
  • Maniaro Ras & Kanabi Ras:
    kanabi ras of gujarat. Click to view large image.Out of 36 Ras,only five forms of Ras has been able to survive and Maniaro is one of them mainly performed by "Mer" community of Sorath. "Mer" being Warrior community, their Ras depicts the movements of swards in the battlefield and is full of gusto. Even the Tal is also very different and of five and half matras known as Maniaro.

    Kanbi in Gujarati (local language) means "Farmer". This particular form belongs to the farmers of Jamnagar district (Halar). Ras is another extremely popular dance form of Gujarat. This Ras, the dance of hard working, toiling farmers has the imprint of their work, their day-to-day life. Men and women dance together with their dandiyas (wooden stick) in their hands. The swift sitting movements "Besni" and circular movement "Chakkars" are the specialty of their dance. Of course the colour of the costumes are eye-catching.
  • Vinchhudo
    This theme dance is the story of simple Indian folk. It depicts their plain hearts and strong belief in superstition. In the age of advance computers, the story presented in this dance, is a true story of each and every village of India.
  • Dangi Nritya (Kahalya)

    Internationally popular Dangi nritya is a favorite dance of tribal of Dang (south Gujarat). The tribe kokans, warlis and bhils perform this dance on every joyous occasion like Diwali, Holi or wedding. Typically tribal way, men and women make a chain holding hands and dance for hours. The main Kahalya (sharnai) player changes tune and the dancers change their chala (Movements).

  • Hudo

    This dance belongs to the famous Panchal region of Gujarat well known for its folk fair "Tarnetar".The beauty of the fair lies in the spontaneity with which people adorned in gorgeous traditional costumes joyously break in to dancing. A distinctive feature of the fair is embroidered umbrellas- a delightful treat for the connoisseurs of art, meticulously embellished with the mirror work, intricate embroidery and enchanting lace work. Hudo, being the dance of the hard working Shepard men and women, has all the vigor and gusto. The colorful embroider costumes of men and women are eye catching.

  • Tippani

    Sorath, a prominent one among the five regions of Saurastra of Gujarat has long coastline. Kharvas and Kolis are the habitats of this coastal region. Koli men are sailors and are usually at sea. Their women folk are engaged in the laborious task of making the floor and ceiling of houses. Stamping the surface with the tool called Tippani does this. To reduce the monotony of this hard work, women sing and dance with their Tippani with the rhythm of the work process of stamping. This has resulted in to a dance "Tippani".


  • Gop Ras

    Dandiya Ras of Gujarat. Click to view large image.Ras is popularly known as Dandiya Ras. "Harivansh Puran" (epic) has noted this dance as "Hallisak", in which Gopis (women) in pair, perform with great grace and later Krishna and other Yadavas join them. Ras is perform by a group of dancers who move in a circle to measured steps, marking time by striking wooden stick know as Dandiya. There were 36 types of Ras in Gujarat. Some are performed only by men while in other men and women dance in unison. Circular movements with speed and grace are the salient features of Ras. The roar of the Dhol, the colorful costumes together with speed, vigor and gusto leaves viewers spellbound. The songs are usually related to lord Krishna or have social themes.


© Aavishkar acadmy of performing art 2005.

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