It's time to twirl
In the lead up to Navratri, popular garba and dandiya dancers offering short-term workshops tell us what's new in this colourful world
Keeping the tradition alive
Jigar Soni is an illustrious garba dancer with a 22-year long career. Having performed for the Ambani-Piramal wedding last year, and collaborated with the likes of Falguni Pathak, Soni, who also often performs abroad, is one of the most well-known garba dancers and teachers in the circuit. In the lead up to Navratri, his school is offering a bunch of courses and sessions for enthusiasts. Speaking about some of the newer trends in the dance form, he tells us, “Hip-hop garba and Bollywood garba are becoming famous among youngsters, but we specialise in the traditional form as we are not keen on compromising on culture.”
At Soni’s School of Garba Dance, 204, 2nd Floor, Malad West.
Call 9820193848 (for more details on beginner level and certificate courses)
Cost Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500
The old and the new
Jigisha Parekh donning a pagdi
There are a lot of people who have had the wish to learn garba, but perhaps have not always had the time, thanks to a busy schedule. At an older age, these people have more time and often feel left out or the need to stay updated,” says Jigisha Parekh, explaining why her classes encourage septuagenarians to participate, adding that she teaches them along with kids and adults so as to make them feel included. As the traditional dance form finds new interpretations, the attire, too, is bound to transform. Parekh explains that over this whole year, women wearing the dhoti and pagdi, like men, along with a dupatta has been gaining currency.
At Jigisha and Bijal’s (Tilaknagar and Ghatkopar East)
Call 7977711740 (for exact address, dates and timings)
Cost Rs 2,100
Partners in crime
Lakum (in red) teaches participants
Since its inception in 2007, the Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts (SNDA), a performing arts academy has been offering workshops, and classes on varied dance forms. This weekend, they are hosting a two-day workshop conducted by experienced garba dancers, Viren Lakum and Punit Nayani, who will teach participants a choreographed set of moves to ready them for the garba season. The session will cover several aspects of the festive dance form — the basics like do taali, teen taali and footwork; a minute-long Bollywood choreography; and partner-interactive garba. “People are trying to modify garba in many ways. And while interactive steps are typically found in dandiya, couples’ garba has been a big trend this year. So, we included it,” Lakum shares.
On September 21 and 22, 6 pm to 8 pm
At SNDA, Senapati Bapat Marg, Tulsi Pipe Road.
Log on to snda.in (for tickets)
Cost Rs 400 to Rs 900
Piyush Lalan has been giving private classes for garba and folk dance since 1995 in different parts of the city, including Mulund, Ghatkopar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Borivali. He specialises in the traditional form of garba, but agrees that the younger generation is more inclined towards Bollywood garba. “We take songs from Hindi films and choreograph the set around it. This is what college and school kids have been showing interest in,” Lalan shares.
Call 8779064224 (for exact address, dates and timings)
Cost Rs 300 (starting rate for a one and a half hour session; will vary based on duration and grade of the class)
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Naitik Nagda talks on garba and dandiya music in Navratri