|The earthy, bold
and vibrant Indian folk dance known as bhangra has taken on new life
and meaning over the last twenty years. The Ghungroo
Dance Academy (GDA) showcases the colorful harvest dance that
celebrates the land and the bravery of the Punjabi people.
In the late 1980s, Indian deejays living in the UK began to mix the more authentic beats with hip-hop and other popular Western music. The sound caught on like wildfire amongst the large population of Indian immigrant and second-generation youth residing in the UK. Thus began a kind of "Bhangra revolution" that has since crossed several oceans to meet the vast Indian communities in the US, Canada, East Africa, and resurfacing back to its homeland in India.
In the US, it is a way for Indo-Americans to connect to their heritage and to their sense of community. Yet bhangra's contagious and joyful spirit has extended well beyond the Indian communities. For example, many US universities have bhangra clubs that partake in national bhangra competitions.
With a driving beat, steps done low to the ground, shoulder and arm movements thrusting to the earth, bhangra was originally a harvest dance accompanied by a simple drum and flute danced by the people of Punjab in northern India.
primary impulse of Indian folk dance is rhythm - a spontaneous
expression of joy in times of deliberation. The simple beat of the
drum to the complex rhythm of a cultivated art, it is the love of
rhythm that creates the dance. The folk dances and songs of the
peasants, hill folk and aboriginal tribal peoples bring happiness
and recreation to their simple communal life. Folk dances and plays
that have their roots in religious and seasonal festivals have a
cultural background and are a vital part of India's artistic
heritage. Dance has been an essential part of folk culture. It is a
spontaneous expression of joy in times of celebration.
Every celebration centers around the rituals of prayers, seeking blessings, exchanging goodwill, decorating houses, wearing new clothes, music, dance and feasting. They reflect the vigor of the lifestyle of its people. Vibrant colors, music and festivities make the country come alive throughout the year.
In the traditional culture of India, dance and music envelops the entire life of man in a shell of melodic sound. Dance and songs celebrate the seasonal rhythms in nature and the songs of the plough man and boatman, shepherd and camel driver, add harmony to the pulse of work.
|Rani and Kaka Bhatia began Ghungroo Dance
Company in 1992 specifically to pass on the traditional and popular
forms of bhangra.Punjab, North India
GDA is one of a kind Indian Folk Dance School in all of United States, it specializes in Bhangra, traditional and hip-hop along with Theme Dance Style, and Traditional Folk and fusion dances, and of course our popular Bollywood style dancing (Filmi Style). Choice of expression at the Academy is a Musical Dance Drama, which is presented by the senior students of the Academy in our Annual Production, showcasing the Academy's dancers and the various styles of dancing taught at GDA.
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