History – Study Bhangra

The first mentions of Bhangra as a dance entity start to show up in historical records across the late-1800s. The current fashion and type of Bhangra formed collectively in the Nineteen Forties and has advanced since. It originated as a folk dance celebrated throughout the time of the harvest. Bhangra is traditionally danced to the dhol instrument, a big drum, and boliyan, quick sets of lyrics that describe scenes or tales from Punjab. These lyrics most commonly reference themes of affection, patriotism, strength, and celebration.


Bhangra is an amalgamation of varied folk dances from all across the area of Punjab, many of which can trace their roots far back before the existence of the time period Bhangra in the late 1800s. These dances embody Sammi, Jhummar, Luddi, Giddha, Dhamaal, Sialkot, and many more.

For instance, Sialkoti developed in the area of Sialkot, and is performed with one leg in the air. Jhummar, from Jhang-Sial, can arguably be traced back to the Aryan period and consists of a 16-beat dhol cycle. Sammi is a dance specifically dedicated to singing a couple of fabled girl. In the Nineteen Forties, communication between villages and areas in Punjab sharply elevated because of independence movements across the area. Consequently, due to a number of celebrated dance pioneers, these dances have been shared, each in instances of celebration and to ease in instances of hardship. Each area quickly adapted the shared dance varieties into their own folk traditions. Finally, a regular Bhangra routine across Punjab got here to encompass sure elements, resembling a Jhummar section, or a Dhamaal segment. Because of the exponential rise in communication in Punjab and across India, Bhangra spread all through the country. The Bollywood trade began to depict Bhangra in its films while celebrated Bhangra pioneers emerged to actively spread and share the dance form. As a result, Bhangra music is now quite mainstream all through India, and throughout the world!


You might have taken note of the dancers’ extremely colourful Bhangra uniforms/outfits, or vardiyaan, throughout the performance. The vardiyaan not only emphasize the visual effect of Bhangra moves, but they also are designed to enable the dancer’s most range of motion. In different words, the vardiyaan are the perfect combination of aesthetics and mobility. At present, men and women typically generally tend to wear completely different vardiyaan while performing Bhangra.


Males are likely to wear a chadr, a kurta, a vest, and a pagh, while girls wear a salwar, a kurta, a vest, and a chunni. The chadr is the bottom half of the outfit, and consists of a long, rectangular piece of unstitched fabric tied across the dancer’s waist. It covers the most importantity of the dancer’s legs and is strategically tied in order to forestall the cloth from limiting the dancer’s movement. The feminine complement to the chadr is the salwar. The salwar consists of loose fitting trouser pants with quite a few pleats stitched into the fabric. In distinction to the chadr, the salwar covers the dancer’s leg completely. The trousers are stitched so that when the dancer performs high-knee and leg-lifting steps, the pleats artfully hang to mimic the effect and coverage of the chadr. Nonetheless, there are some girls that do wear a chadr, kurta, and/or pagh while performing Bhangra.

The kurta is frequent to both types of vardiyaan. The kurta is a protracted-sleeved tunic that comes down to approximately the dancer’s knees, or just above them. The sleeveless vest is worn over the kurta. Each the kurta and chadr are colorful, and display closely embroidered intricate designs.

The pagh and chunni are head coverings that replicate the Sikh faith that’s predominant within the state of Punjab. Culturally, head coverings are common as well. They are a logo of pride, humility, fortitude, and respect. The Bhangra pagh is a long piece of material that is intricately wrapped around the dancer’s head, culminating in a closely, starched, pleated fan (turla) that crowns the entire turban. The chunni is a colourful scarf that’s artfully draped round a woman’s head and pinned to her kurta and vest. There are various other aspects to the vardiyaan as well. Not limited to just jewelry, these consist of varied accent pieces that serve to boost specific parts of a Bhangra routine. For example, earrings and necklaces (i.e. jhumke, kainthe, taveet) draw attention to a dancer’s facial expressions. Rumaalan, or handkerchiefs, were traditionally tied around a dancer’s wrist to highlight their advanced hand movements. All parts of the vardiyaan complement the dance in that each ingredient has origins steeped in which means, symbolism, and purpose.

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