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Garba in the Gardens
When people in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat want to celebrate, the ecstatic dance tradition known as garba often provides the fuel. An essential component of wedding celebrations and the nine-day fall Hindu festival Navratri, garba is an intoxicating, high-energy folk dance style marked by hand claps and twirls. Danced in a circle (reflecting the cyclical Hindu conception of time), garba steps can be anything from a simple two-step to intricate movements. Produced by MELA Arts Connect as part of Garba360, Garba in the Gardens opens with a dance workshop by Nirati Gautam and the dancers of Sangeet, teaching garba, sanedo, and other Gujarati folk dances. The workshop is followed by Bay Area music duo of Madhvi and Asim Mehta with their band, who have released several acclaimed albums focusing on garba, leading the celebration. Feel free to wear a long, flared skirt, kurta top, or other Indian clothing. All are invited to participate and dance!