When someone mentions Gujarat, the first thing that comes to mind is color, vibrancy, culture and of course the folk dance. Being one of the most ancient land of festival, the gujaratis population here loves to celebrate every auspicious day with great pomp, show and celebration. the folk dances of Gujarat form a very valuable part of the culture here. The unique thing about the dance forms of Gujarat is that most of them are ancient but are very well preserved over centuries and ages. the various forms of dances are sure a treat for the eyes.
Various Traditional Dance forms of Gujarat
Deemed for being one of the most iconic and popular dance forms of Gujarat this fun dance is not just famous in Gujarat but has also gathered international attention. Typically, this rhythmic dance involves 2 sticks and the raas is in the form of a Raas Leela. Being the land of lord Krishna, this dance form is dedicated to the childhood dance he used to do which was Raas Leela and takes place in concentric circles as well. One can see this elaborate celebration of enthusiastic and zealous dance during the auspicious time of Navratri. The best raas dancers here in these regions are considered to be the Kathiawari and the folks from the Saurashtra Region.
The name Bhavai is derived from the word bhava which translates into feelings or emotions. This dance is presented in the form of a classical folk gujaratis drama which takes place in various villages and temple complexes, especially by the professional communities of the indigenous tribes like the bhojakas, the taragalas and some other tribes from north Gujarat. This dramatic performance takes place and goes on for an entire night and without the help of any sort of certain stage equipment. The main feature of this representation is the depiction of various issues in the social life of different communities and the absence of women in this which mean that the male artists have to perform the part of the women as well.
This name definitely rings a bell. The rhythmic and gracious dance movements, the synchronised dancing and an energy of excitement is all what makes this dance form one of the most widely admired. The dance is dedicated to goddess Amba and is done on concentric circles with the central focus being the idol or an image of the goddess. The hand clapping and finger snapping is all a part of the process and the best part is dressing up for this. Women wear colourful and designer Ghaghra Choli with equally elaborate jewellery sets consisting of nose rings, bangles, earrings, anklets and many other which puts the whole look together in one place.
The roots of this dance form can be traced back to Chorwad district and is extremely popular among the people of Koli and Kharva who reside in the coastal regions of Gujarat. The women in this dance presentation are aided with long sticks which are referred to as Tippani and is accompanied by music which is created through the sounds of simple instruments like Turi and Thali. The dance is done in order to combat the lethargy that one feels after a long day of hard work. Primarily performed during the festivals of Holi and Diwali along with wedding ceremonies, this dance is a public favourite. Men and women participating in this dance are geared in all the traditional clothing wear for them.
Experience the Traditional Dances of Gujarat:
Considered to be one of the most unique dance festivals in Gujarat, and taking place in the legendary sun temple of Modhera this is a beautiful representation of Gujarati culture. For 3 whole days the entire temple complex gets lighted up with amazing green, blue and various colored hues and the dancers display the traditional dance forms in a mesmerizingly synchronised form. People and dance lovers from all over the world make their way to the temple to witness the grand and vibrant expression of the rich heritage of Gujarat. One can not only see the display of Gujarati folk dance but various dance forms from all over India including Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Kathak and more.
Rann Utsav is one of the most incredible and much awaited festivals in Gujarat. The entire stark white salt desert of the Kutch region springs to life and light for 3 months of winter and every day and minute of it remains filled with the vibrancy of the Gujaratis folk music, dance, theatre performances and more. people stay in various types of tented accommodations here and spend their time in educating themselves more about the traditions and culture of this colourfully vibrant land. Here the dances which takes place are strictly of gujaratis origin and witnessing it will be like an honour. Apart from the various types of performances of traditional and cultural nature one can even indulge in various activities like camel and ATV rides, musical performances, entertainment centres, yoga and meditation etc.