North America’s Biggest Bhangra Fest Comes to Vancouver

Photo credit: Brendan | Flickr

Photo credit: Brendan | Flickr

Ready to bhangra?

The dance and music style from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan is about to take over Vancouver for the 10-day City of Bhangra Festival, May 29-June 7. The largest event of its kind in North America, the event highlights the infectious rhythms, elaborate and colourful costumes and sultry choreography of bhangra, both traditional forms and creative new interpretations.

Here’s a peek at what’s on tap:

May 29: TransfusionExperience First Nations, Jewish, Hip-Hop, and Garba dancers creating intercultural mash-ups by blending bhangra moves and music with their own indigenous folk traditions. Thursday, May 29 at 8 p.m.; Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodwards (149 W. Hastings); $10.  

May 30: Media Arts MehfilTraditionally, “mehfil” refers to an evening of entertainment in an intimate setting. A twist on the traditional mehfil style, this gathering brings together gifted musicians for playful improvisation. The result is a unique and mesmerizing mosaic of North Indian classical, progressive rock , jazz, funk, Punjabi folk and Caribbean groove. Friday, May 30 at 7 p.m.; Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Avenue); $20. Continue reading:
North America’s Biggest Bhangra Fest Comes to Vancouver

Bhangra star Dalvinder Singh at Heritage Hall, June 5

The eighth annual City of Bhangra Festival (May 31-June 10) is in full swing across Vancouver this week, celebrating lively bhangra music and dancing from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.  With high-energy, infectious songs and colourful dance routines, bhangra has caught on across North America and especially in Vancouver.

And one of the biggest stars in contemporary bhangra, the UK’s Dalvinder Singh, is coming to Heritage Hall on Main Street on Tuesday, June 5.  If you’re a bhangrahead – or just a fan of great world music performed at the highest level – this is one show you shouldn’t miss.

Bhangra music has its roots in traditional songs from the Punjab region.  But it actually originated in Britain in the 1980s, when Punjabi immigrants took those folk sounds and incorporated contemporary rock, R&B and – later – hip-hop – instruments and beats.  It is in many ways a music of identity and protest – focused on affirming a positive sense of self and Punjabi culture.

Continue reading:
Bhangra star Dalvinder Singh at Heritage Hall, June 5