City of Bhangra Festival aims to get everyone dancing to the beat

Published: March 19, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver and Surrey will be bhangra cities this spring.

Bhangra dancers

The South Asia Arts Girls Bhangra Team performs as launch to the Bhangra Festival in Vancouver on March 19, 2013. Wayne Leidenfrost/PNG

The Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) Society officially launched their week-long HSBC City of Bhangra Festival by announcing the lineup at Granville Street’s Vancouver FanClub on Tuesday morning.

The announcement gave a vibrant taste of what the May 30 to June 8 festival will offer: delicious Indian food, upbeat bhangra dancers, all accompanied by loud and cheerful music.

“That beat, that rhythm — it’s universal, so anybody can get up and dance and be a part of it,” said VIBC director Sukhi Ghuman.

Organizers wanted to “create a festival that welcomes people of all different cultures,” he said.

“It’s not about being Indian to participate in the festival — we want everyone to feel welcome and to be a part of the festival and be able to learn about what is bhangra.”

Bhangra is a form of Punjabi folk music that dates back to the 1400s in Northern India, when farmers would celebrate harvest season with music and dance.

“It’s definitely come a long way since then,” said Ghuman. “Even now mainstream artists are incorporating bhangra beats into their music — artists like Britney Spears, Missy Elliot will use some of the drums that we use for bhangra in their music, too, so it’s definitely becoming a lot more mainstream.”

The festival will showcase that evolution with art exhibitions in both Vancouver and Surrey, free outdoor concerts and dance performances by local bhangra teams, as well as teams from California, New York and Pennsylvania.

“We’re kind of taking bhangra in all its artistic mediums and spreading it all throughout the festival,” said Ghuman.

“There’s no right or wrong way to bhangra,” said Ghuman. “When you hear that beat of that drum and that dhol you want to dance as well, and so it’s all about you coming out, feeling that music, dancing and getting your groove on and having an amazing time.”

Local dhol drummer Rayman Bhuller has been part of the festival “from day one” — when it started back in 2004.

Bhuller will be participating in a number of performances, including the opening reception on May 30.

“There’s no bhangra without dhol,” Bhuller said after supplying the upbeat soundtrack for Tuesday’s announcement. “When you put the dhol in a room it just overshadows everything. It’s really loud … it takes over a room very quick.”

Bhuller will also be performing alongside international artists such as Punjab’s raw folk singer Saini Surinder, producer and musician Gupsy Aujla from the U.K. bhangra scene, DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid from Portland, Ore., and Oxford’s teenage performer D-Sarb.

Bhuller has travelled the world working as a freelance dhol drummer and created Vancouver’s Dhol Nation Academy 12 years ago. He also performed at the 2010 Olympics and has been involved with the City of Bhangra Festival since its inauguration nine years ago.

“You learn a lot about the culture itself through the medium of music,” Bhuller said.

Especially through the dhol, which is “in every part of our life.”

“From the day you’re born there’s a dhol playing till the day you die there’s a dhol playing — it’s very symbolic,” he said. “It’s the whole cycle of life just in this drum.”

For more event listings and ticket information visit www.vibc.org

Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration schedule

May 30, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.: Opening ceremony and rePercussion. Milton Fei Wong Theatre, SFU Woodward’s/Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver. A cultural fusion of drummers, including Rayman Bhuller alongside Surrey Folk Bhangra Club and EV A-Slam.

June 1, 8 p.m.-11 p.m: Influx with VIBC Media Arts Mehfi. Surrey Arts Center, Studio Theatre. An evening of live music mash-ups, hip hop dance battles and art projections.

June 4, 8 p.m.-10 p.m.: Bhangra on Main. Heritage Hall, Vancouver. Punjabi folk traditions from critically acclaimed artists D-Sarb and Sunil Kaylan.

June 6, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.: rePercussion. Surrey Arts Centre. A cultural fusion of drummers, including Rayman Bhuller alongside Surrey Folk Bhangra Club and EV A-Slam.

June 7-8: Downtown Bhangra. Bringing artists such as Saini Surinder, Gupsy Aujla, D-Sarb, Shava, Sunil Kalyan, Inder Kooner, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid and featuring bhangra teams from New York, Pittsburgh, California and Metro Vancouver. Friday, 6 p.m.–10p.m. Saturday, 12 p.m.–10 p.m.

June 7, 10 p.m.-3 a.m.: Non-stop Bhangra. Vancouver FanClub. The official after party of Downtown Bhangra, Non-Stop Bhangra, offering an electric mix of bhangra party music meant for the dance floor, including DJ Harpz coming from the U.K. and DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid from Portland, Ore.

June 8, 10 p.m.-12 a.m.: Closing Gala. Vancouver Art Gallery. Musicians, local dance teams and DJs.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,





Featured

RASODE main

Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode collaborates with long-serving police chief in crime-fighting platform

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode officially released her platform on crime Thursday morning, which includes a resounding endorsement from the “longest-serving…
Continue Reading »

gay marriage-fake-scam

Undercover agent ‘Ruby’ from Mumbai exposes fake gay marriage scam in UK

HINDUSTAN TIMES A new crime sub-category has emerged in Britain after same-sex marriages were made legal in March: fake marriages between same-sex couples for a…
Continue Reading »

crime-BC

Abbotsford police don’t think missing girl was abducted or hurt

VIVIAN LUK THE CANADIAN PRESS ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Police in Abbotsford were cautiously optimistic Wednesday morning that a report of a missing young girl is…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

RASODE main

Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode collaborates with long-serving police chief in crime-fighting platform

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode officially released her platform on crime Thursday morning, which includes a resounding endorsement from the “longest-serving…
Continue Reading »

Playing soccer on artificial turf compared to Olympic sprinter on cinder track

THE CANADIAN PRESS Hall of Famer Carrie Serwetnyk says playing the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf is like making an Olympic athlete run on…
Continue Reading »

3 Afghan soldiers who fled for Canada fear torture, death if they return home

By Carolyn Thompson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BATAVIA, N.Y. — Three Afghan military officers who sought refuge in Canada after taking off from a military training…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

drug-chemical-ban-India

Health Canada bans some drugs from India on quality concerns

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Health Canada says it is banning imports of some medications and drug ingredients produced in India due to concerns about…
Continue Reading »

DINNER WHITE HOUSE

What’s on the White House menu for Indian PM Narendra Modi who’s fasting?

CONNIE CASS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — What do you serve a man who isn’t eating? Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was served warm water…
Continue Reading »

dog-rock-tar

Video: Rescue story of a dog that fell into hot tar and turned into a rock

VANCOUVER DESI A team of animal rescuers in Western India spent two days working to free a helpless dog trapped in a pile of hot…
Continue Reading »

body image-beauty-weight-control

Self-compassion leads to positive body image in women

IANS Toronto – Women who accept and tolerate their bodily imperfections appear to have a more positive body image despite their high body mass index…
Continue Reading »

1PNG_0929N_CITY_INQUEST_218232808

Close the Vancouver airport immigration cells where Mexican woman hanged herself: lawyer

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI Canada should close the immigration holding centre where a Mexican woman awaiting deportation hanged herself, and put up detainees in hotels,…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Bollywood celebs — then and now

VANCOUVER DESI We are loyal Bollywood fans and have followed our favourites through the years, be it the Khans or the beauty queens. Here’s a…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Haider: A powerful revenge saga (w/trailer)

TROY RIBEIRO IANS  Film: “Haider”; Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Shraddha Kapoor, Irrfan Khan; Director: Vishal Bhardwaj; Rating: *** 1/2) With revenge as…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Hrithik Roshan: Adversity is a gym for the mind

RASHIKA BHIRANI IANS  New Delhi – He overcame stammering; witnessed his father’s failure as an actor and producer and his surviving a gunshot wound; saw…
Continue Reading »