Image via WikipediaBhangra dance and music traces its origins to the Punjab region of Northern India. The exact age of the dance is uncertain but evidence of it can be traced as far back as 300 B.C. Although, some historians and gurus argue the dance could in fact be around 3,000 years old.
It was practiced by the Punjabi farmers of the villages and mainly performed during the harvest festival of Bhaisakhi. To this day, Bhangra is still danced to welcome in the spring weather. Its main purpose is to simply have fun and celebrate life.
The Forms.There are nine forms of Bhangra traditionally practiced in various regions of the Punjab nation.
- Gidha: The dance performed only by women. The movements are presented more gracefully with an obvious feminine flair.
- Julli: A Muslim sitting- dance practiced by priests or holy men as a form of worship on hermitages.
- Jhumar: A folk dance where the dancers circle around a drum, clapping and chanting.
- Kikli: A dance in which four girls join hands weaving in and out of a circle while singing.
- Saami: A dance performed by women from the Sandalbar region.
- Daankara: A dance performed for weddings by the men. The clack sticks together in time with the drum while traveling in a circle.
- Dhamal: A very wild dance with aggressive shoulder bounces, head shaking, arm waving and shouting.
- Luddi: A dance in which the dancer extends one arm and the other behind his head while swaying like a snake in time to the music, almost as though in a trance.
- Gatka: A martial art performed by the Sikh men.