Upbeat about traditional flavour

Jasmine Singh

While modern gyms have introduced a new form of exercise called the ‘bhangra burn out’, but young students from tricity swear by the original — for that is what gets them accolades at youth festivals. With singer-actor Amrinder Gill bringing the focus back on Punjab’s popular dance form; it is time to check out how the bhangra groups of colleges and Panjab University are faring in this dance form. So, have they adopted the hip-hop version of bhangra yet?

Real swag

Manjot Singh, Dilpreet Sekhon and Gurjot Brar from Panjab University can closely relate to the Punjabi film Ashke, which is based on bhangra; after all they have been part of the bhangra team in their college. Pretty happy with the depiction, the boys have no qualms in admitting that bhangra brings a certain kind of swag. Gurjot Brar, admits, “You can actually recognise bhangre wale munde from a distance.” The oldest dance form of Punjab has many takers; it is popular both at national as well as international level, but when it comes to performing at youth festivals, teams from various colleges and universities from Punjab stick to the original form.  Adds Dilpreet Sekhon, another member, “Chaal, faslaan, double dhamaal, single jhummar and single chaffa are some of the basic bhangra steps that one needs to master. Also, bhangra is nothing without the right expressions and chakkars.” The team obviously is also judged on the basis of synchronisation, attire, song selection and on the kinds of steps. “Bhangra is an energetic dance form that has undergone many changes, but it is the basic form which is still liked by all; at least at youth festivals, students and judges want to see the real bhangra and not the exercise wala bhangra,” says Hardeep Singh, a freelance bhangra coach.

Rocking girls

It is no longer the tall and lanky boys going Ashke, the team of pretty girls from MCM DAV, Sector-36, has been a crowd-puller at youth festivals and various other competitions too. Bhangra incorporates a host of dance forms like luddi, giddha, daankara, saami and kikli. However, one thing remains common in all — the dancers sing the chorus song while dancing around a dhol, which gives a unique beat to the dance. Dr Nisha Bhargava, principal of the college, has been encouraging the students to not only be active in extra-circular activities but also to keep in touch with their folk culture. The team of the college trained by the teachers from the college itself has taken part in various competitions. “Every time we hold auditions and thereafter select girls on the basis of their stamina, facial expressions and overall personality. One needs a lot of stamina to perform this dance form,” she offers.

Addicted to the moves

At Post Graduate Government College, Sector-11, bhangra instructor Balbir Singh introduces new moves every year. He believes that the real essence of the dance form cannot change, but new moves are important to bring freshness. “I do not change the basic steps or formations; neither do I change the essence, some new moves add vibrancy and freshness.”Let it be folk  When it comes to retaining the folk touch, the bhangra team of PAU does not believe in making alterations. “We do not make any modifications in the folk form,” says Gurpreet Singh Virk, welfare officer PAU.  “If you say that some international feel should be added, well, then it wouldn’t be known as folk dance,” he adds. Point to ponder!




News credit : TribuneIndia

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