Dance In The Round: Contemporary Garba with Parijat Desai

Cultivating Depth Series

Saturdays, 11:00a–1:00p
March 30–April 20, 2024
Jiva Studio – 27-28 Thomson Ave Unit WS11 Long Island City, NY

$225 | Early Bird Sale!: $200 extended until March 13
(if you need further cost assistance inquire about the sliding scale)


Come away with knowledge of:

  • Common garba footwork pattern
  • The elements of daudiyu, popular traveling phrases
  • How group improvisation works in Navratri
  • Raas patterns
  • Grounding, invigorating somatic warm-up methods

This spring, Parijat Desai brings Dance In The Round to Jiva Performing Arts. Parijat offers her method of teaching garba and raas, and creating fun, meaningful collective-dance experiences based on the circle dances of her ancestral lands, Kutch and Gujarat, India.

We awaken our bodies with a warm-up drawing on qi-gong, tai qi, and yoga, circling joints and spiraling limbs. Connecting the inner with the outer, we also acknowledge 6 directions and our relationship with Nature.

We then shift to moving in swing and rhythm together: garba. We’ll learn steps and sequences that migrate around the circle. Building from these, we’ll learn a choreography and experience group improvisation. (It’s fun!)

On our last day, Jiva and Parijat invite family and friends to a Garba / Raas Party during the second hour of class! Students share what they learned in community, and guests are invited to participate (just clapping also counts!).

Future Opportunities
From these and future classes, selected people will be invited to join PPP’s community dance company. That group is offered opportunities to participate in performances or demonstrate for classes. Parijat is also seeking professional contemporary dancers for her O Ghostly Ancestor and How Do I Become WE projects.

Parijat Desai is a dance artist/educator based on Lenape lands (NYC), with a 30+ year dance career, beginning in the womb as her mother grooved in community. Parijat has learned with revered teachers of bharata natyam, contemporary dance, and creative process, including Smt. Rathna Kumar, Halifu Osumare, and Daria Halprin. Winner of a Lester-Horton Dance Award, Fulbright Scholar-Artist Grant, and Chhaya Award for Art and Activism, she creates hybrid performance bridging contemporary and Indian dance forms, martial arts, and experimental theater with Parijata Performance Projects (PPP). Critics have called Parijat’s work “a seamless blend of new and old” (New York Times) and proof “that dance can be a healing art” (LA Times).

In 2023, she created choreography for off-Broadway play, Elyria, and was a Visiting Artist at Bennington College where she began O Ghostly Ancestor (coming October 2024). In NYC, Parijat’s work has been performed at Danspace Project, BRIC, Harlem Stage, Symphony Space, Asia Society and more; in other cities at venues including ODC Theater, Asian Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, California Plaza, Getty Center, National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai); Dance Centre (Vancouver).

Through Dance In The Round (DITR), developed with support from the Gibney Moving Toward Justice Cohort, Parijat facilitates participatory-dance experiences based on garba and raas, for community engagement, activation, and well-being. She also teaches contemporary dance, and offers creative visioning / team-building workshops based on DITR and the LifeArt Process®, a method of expressive arts therapy.

Dance In The Round: Contemporary Garba with Parijat Desai

Cultivating Depth Series