Sunday, October 01, 2006

Our Garba Videos

You can see videos of the girls dancing at the Gujarati Festival our youtube .


Tonight Zeebah dancers went to the Haslett Hindu Temple to celebrate the Festival of Navarati with our Indian friends. It started around 6:30 and we stayed until midnight.

Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region of India. Unlike other famous types of Indian dance, Garba is much more similar to Western social dancing than the presentational style of the others. The greatest difference between Garba and western social dancing is that it is circular and is religious in origin. The name Garba comes from the Sanskrit term Garba Dip. Garba, when translated, most closely resembles the English preposition inside, and Dip is a small earthenware lamp. For this reason, many traditional Garbas are performed around a central lit lamp. Traditionally, it is performed during a 9 day festival called Navarātrī (Nava = 9, rātrī = nights). Navarātrī celebrates the Goddess Amba as well as other popular Hindu gods and goddesses. This festival, most commonly celebrated by women, that celebrates the Hindu Goddess Amba, the Mother Goddess. Traditionally, either the lamp (the Garba Dip), or an image of Amba is placed in the middle of the concentric rings deliniating the dance, as an object of veneration. People dance around the deity clapping rhythmically. At every step they gracefully bend sideways, the arms coming together in beautiful sweeping gestures, up and down, left and right, each movement ending in clap. Modern Garba is also heavily influenced by Dandiya, a dance traditionally performed by men, and from which the sticks originate. These sticks, which can vary from 1.5 to 2 feet in length, and is meant to represent the sword of the avenging Goddess Durga . The merger of these two dances has formed the high-energy, exciting dance that is seen today. I found this dance to be the highlight of the night even though I was dead tired because it was easy to get lost in the amazing drums and the rhythmic sounds of the sticks. (info from Wikipedia) Posted by Picasa

All Garbed for Garba!

I was so proud of my girls this night. Not only did they look like bells at the ball but they shone even brighter because they hand make all of their Zeebah clothes. My eyes filled with tears of pride as I took this picture just thinking that each managed to enter proudly into a room full of very expensive Indian Saris knowing that they were wearing less than $20 dollars worth of fabric. Don't they look amazing? Posted by Picasa

Getting Ready To Dance

Pilar, Alex, Anna and Bri watch the Garba begin. They watch the dancers for a few minutes, made mental notes of each step and joined in. I and many others thought they did great. They were the first westeners to join in. I think our dance background and our open minds made it a breeze to get the dance right away. Posted by Picasa

Handsome Twosome

It was very cool having Christy (brand new addition) and her handsome prince join us. It was brave of them since we always end up in crazy places doing equally . They had a great time and Christy's costume was great and most original. Posted by Picasa

So Tired...

This picture was taken at almost midnight at the very end of the Garba Dandiya stick dance (Garba songs are like 25 minutes each!!). We were so very tired that it hurt to smile. The beautiful temple and the wonderful culture of India had us buzzing all the way home. Posted by Picasa

Making New Friends

Everyone was so friendly and so helpful. A couple of the women came to our aid with safety pins and helped us adjust our dresses. Here, Bri, Alex and Pilar make friends... Posted by Picasa

Pilar and Anna

We got a lot of complements for our attempts to come dressed apropriately. Pilar and Ana looked beautiful and enjoyed the intense dancing intensly. Posted by Picasa

Africans in India

In this picture, my African cousin Ana and I in our best Sari veils take a little rest from soooo much dancing. I think I sweated off about 12 pounds just in the first hour! Posted by Picasa