Ready to bhangra? A lively form of folk dance from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, bhangra has swept North America in the last decade. The high-energy music and colorful dance routines have popped up in Hollywood hits like Slumdog Millionaire, hip hop videos and even celebrity fitness programs.
Vancouver, with its rich South Asian population, is an epicenter of bhangra culture in North America. And this summer, the city will be showing off its bhangra pride at the eighth annual City of Bhangra festival, May 31-June 10.
International and local talent takes the stage in dozens of performances and dance competitions across Metro Vancouver. Meanwhile hands-on workshops offer visitors a chance to try out bhangra for themselves. Here are a few highlights:
- Kick off the festival at Celebrate the Harvest on June 2 in Surrey. A traditional bhangra competition, the free event brings together teams from across North America for incredible song and dance routines.
- The hit fusion group rePercussion takes the stage at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on June 7 ($20). Combining drumming styles from Punjab, Cuba, Brazil and China, the ensemble offers an exciting vision of contemporary bhangra music.
- See break dancers mingle with bhangra dancers at Downtown Bhangra, in the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza June 9-10. The free event is headlined by international bhangra stars including the U.K.’s Dalvinder Singh and New York’s Bikram Singh.
For complete information about events, visit the HSBC City of Bhangra website.