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Indian folk dance becomes Urban dance craze

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Originally, a folk art that has now shed its folk associations and is now considered to be a urban commercial genre. It is very popular among the youth and among the Indian Diaspora.

Originally, the bhangra was a folk dance performed by the Punjab men during the harvest festival. Over the centuries, bhangra grew to encompass not only the female dances at the harvest festival (giddha) but a number of rural Punjabi folk dances. It grew in popularity, and expanded its range to the point where bhangra was then found over much of Northwest India and Pakistan. Furthermore, it could be performed on any festive occasion, and not just during the harvest festival . . .Bhangra's growth as an international art form began in Great Britain. The Indo-Pakistan expatriate community was in its second and third generation. They could not relate to a changed India or Pakistan, but were also unable to completely assimilate into traditional British society. In this cultural vacuum, the bhangra grew to become an important symbol of self identity. —

  1. Daankara: Performed with sticks at weddings.
  2. Dhamal: A particularly energetic circle dance.
  3. Gatka: performed with swords, daggers, or sticks.
  4. Giddha: primarily a women's dance.
  5. Jhumar: a men's dance. The rhythm is substantially slower than most bhangra dances.
  6. Julli: may be done by a single person and from a sitting posture.
  7. Kikli: performed by women who lock hands and swing in circles, usually in pairs but sometimes in fours.
  8. Luddi: contains a vary characteristic posture of the bhangra, danced with one hand behind their head and the other hand outstretched.
  9. Saami: a women's dance.

Author: Maura Enright
©2012 by Maura Enright
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