When people in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat want to celebrate, the ecstatic dance tradition known as garba often provides the fuel. 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 Pooja Mehta, 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!
Need a mid-day artistic escape? Visit the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival for a free concert of music, theater and dance, many of which are designed for the whole family. Mid-June, the festival welcomes dancer Nirati Gautam, musicians Madhvi and Asim Mehta and a host of performers as they share Gujarati folk dance traditions from Northwest India. The afternoon begins with a workshop, followed by a dance/music celebration.