Shams Khan and students, Lotus's Dancing Across Cultural Borders 2008, The Hudson Guild Theater, NYC
Bhangra, the folk music of the Punjabi region of northern India, traces its roots back in time to the 15th century, when it was performed in conjunction with the celebrations of the harvest season. The music makes use of a large double-barreled drum, the dhol, and is the most percussive, upbeat, and lively of India's musical traditions. The voice is the second most important factor in Bhangra, and exciting melodies that accompany Bhangra transcend cultural and language barriers. The dance form of Bhangra has been brought into the 20th century and modernized by a heavy influence from reggae, rap, and hip-hop. However, Bhangra as a dance and musical form has had as heavy an influence on the world of Western pop music and club dancing as the world of Western pop has had on Bhangra. It combines sheer energy and strength with complex group choreography and a keen attention to rhythm and melody.
Instructor: Shams Khan