Bhangra dancers

Beginning next week, dance to your hearts’ content with over 200 of the best Punjabi dancers and musicians set to perform at the 8th Annual HSBC City of Bhangra Festival. Many events are either free or very affordable considering the talent being brought into the city. UK’s Sunil Kalyan and JK, as well as New York’s DJ Rekha and Bikram Singh will headline free outdoor concerts in both Surrey and Downtown Vancouver presented by the VIBC Society.

For the first time, the Festival is expanding to the City of Surrey with “Celebrate the Harvest”, an outdoor concert at Central City Plaza on Saturday, June 2. The much-anticipated Downtown Bhangra I & II, featuring the world’s finest talent, promises to be full of non-stop Bhangra action and will again take place outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 9 and 10.

Here’s a listing of what’s on during this year’s Bhangra Festival:
Date: Thursday, May 31, 7:30 pm
Venue: Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88th Avenue, Surrey
Tickets: $20 via Tickets Tonight
What happens when the drums of the world come together? A tour de force of cultural expression and innovation in percussion. Led by Sal Ferreras, this event explores percussion and folk drumming from the variety of cultures that represent Vancouver. From Chinese to an Afro-Cuban, to a melding of Punjabi and Brazilian styles, rePercussion explores the percussive traditions from around the world.

Mehfil Night
Date: Friday, June 1, 8 pm
Venue: Bombay Se, 7500 120 Street, Surrey
Free with dinner reservation
Enjoy a delicious Indian dinner while being serenaded by local talent providing both an intimate experience and engagement with Punjabi folk music through song and storytelling. Trios of performers, featuring a table maestro, vocalist and sitar player, will entertain audiences with a rich experience of the Punjabi folk stories, rhythms, and musical compositions that provide the foundation – the soul – to the popular forms of Bhangra today.

Celebrate the Harvest
Date: Saturday, June 2, 3 to 8 pm
Venue: Central City Plaza, Surrey
Brace yourself for wild dance routines, amazing bands, and all the Bhangra you can handle! Enjoy performances by the best Punjabi dancers and musicians and learn a few new Bhangra moves along the way. Featuring Vancouver’s finest dhol drummers, singers, Bhangra dancers and a host of cultural mashups. Special performances by Dave Bawa, Luv Randhawa and Indanation will complete the picture. The Bhangra Society has partnered with the Jewish Cultural Centre to feature a joint performance between Israeli and bhangra dancers from Surrey India Arts Club.
Bhangra House
Date: Sunday, June 3, 1 to 5 pm
Venue: Newton Cultural Centre, 13530 – 72 Avenue, Surrey
Learn from the region’s foremost practitioners while exploring the full range of Punjabi folk dances comprising bhangra, such as luddi, jhummar, and dhammal. Led by award-winning Bhangra performers, the Bhangra House workshops provide an accessible environment for attendees to learn the foundations of Bhangra dance. Beginning with basic movements and the dhol rhythms that accompany them, workshop attendees will learn to harness both the power and grace in the movements of Bhangra.
Lunchtime Concerts
Date: Monday, June 4
Noon to 1 pm, Central City Mall, Surrey and Corner of Robson and Howe, Vancouver
The Lunchtime Concerts series features folk and classical performers in the heart of both Surrey and Downtown Vancouver. Whether moving between meetings on Robson Street or just stepping out to grab a bite to eat in Central City, you’ll enjoy the percussion and melodies of Punjabi folk music in everyday settings.
Bhangra on Main
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 8 pm
Venue: Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $29 via Tickets Tonight
Music on Main and the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration join forces for an evening celebrating the origins of Bhangra in an intimate concert tracing Bhangra’s roots to traditional Punjabi folk music. UK’s Dalvinder Singh, a skilled singer, musician and dancer, will present classic folk songs as well as soulful interpretations of more contemporary Bhangra music.

Bhangra Love
Date: Thursday, June 7, 10 pm
Venue: Ginger 62, 1219 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $15 via Tickets Tonight
The Love for Bhangra never dies! At Bhangra Love, local DJ’s will spin Bhangra and Bollywood top favourites. Dance the night away with the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival performers, volunteers, and international artists.

Bhangra Village
Date: Friday, June 8, 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: SFU Woodward’s, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Free with registration
Interactive workshops, live demonstrations, and master classes led by acclaimed Bhangra practitioners will create opportunities for emerging singers, musicians, and dancers to interact with and learn from seasoned masters in the field. Professional development workshops by leading associations and government agencies appeal to burgeoning performers as they navigate the arts and cultural landscape.
Basement Bhangra: Vancouver
Date: Friday, June 8, 9 pm to late
Venue: W2 Media Café, Woodward’s Atrium, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $15 via Tickets Tonight (19+, No Minors)
In partnership with Jugni Style, DJ Rekha is a London-born musician, producer, curator, and activist who’ll be spinning tunes at W2’s Media Café. DJ Rekha will be joined by many festival performers.

Birds of Paradox
[Birds of Paradox]

Downtown Bhangra I
Date: Saturday, June 9, Noon to 9 pm
Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Live dhol drum and electrifying bhangra bands will launch Downtown Bhangra I. Dance alongside Vancouver’s finest drummers, beat-boxers, bhangra dancers, break-dancers and folk dancers. You’ll enjoy musical arts, percussion troupes, and several prominent bhangra dance teams. Cheer on our Vancouver artists, Birds of Paradoxx, Luv Randhawa, Inder Kooner, Dave Bawa and A-Slam and dance the night away with international artists Dalvinder Singh, Bikram Singh, Violinder, Sunil Kalyan and Harry Matharu.
Ambassadors of Bhangra
Date: Saturday, June 9, pm to late
Venue: W2 Media Café, Woodward’s Atrium, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $15 via Tickets Tonight (19+, No Minors)
Attended by festival performers, volunteers, festival attendees and featuring the combined talents of all HSBC City of Bhangra performers on stage, this is a Bhangra Party not to be missed; hosted by comedian Hollywood Harv.


Downtown Bhangra II
Date: Sunday, June 10, Noon to 8 pm
Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
In a new open air format, the second day of the Downtown Bhangra stage is sure to take the HSBC City of Bhangra’s energy level to new heights. Enjoy special performances by international artists Violinder Raginder Momi, Sukhi Khan, Idu Sharif, JK, DJ Rekha and Jelly. Cheer on Vancouver’s local superstars Tambura Rasa, Shivangi, Bob Mann, Sukhdev Sukha and international Bhangra dance teams from North Carolina, New York, and Washington DC.

1 Comment

  • Comment by Trice — June 15, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    I’m so much proud to live in Vancouver where such lovely events take place. Tambura Rasa were unforgettable, simply colorful and funny show. I’m attending the festival each year since its beginning and really think this year was the best so far. The City of Bhangra Festival undoubtedly belongs among best June events in Vancouver!

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