Bhangra move compendium

Jahordon

Active Member
Messages
25
I've been trying to compile videos of common moves so I can use them as a reference to practice. While going through the process, I started to realize how few of the move names I knew, and the project has evolved into me trying to put together a single resource for bhangra moves, their names, translations, pronunciations, and video examples. I've been going through whatever relevant BTF posts I can find, as well as reaching out to friends and teammates for info, because there are so many conflicting names and examples for some of these moves. I've reached a point where I need more help, because my knowledge of Punjabi and bhangra still has a lot of room for growth. If anybody would be willing to look through this and correct, add, or remove anything, I'd be very grateful.

I don't always trust how Punjabi words are romanized, so I've been trying to get move names in Gurmukhi. That way, I know how they should be pronounced. Trying to translate the move names is more for my own curiosity--sometimes the name of the move gives an idea of how it should be done. Punjabi resources online aren't as reliable as other languages, so I've been having to cross check Google's awful Punjabi translations with Hindi. I could use people who have real Punjabi knowledge.

Here's what I have so far. Currently it's set to be comments only, because I don't want people making changes to it without me knowing. If you have something to offer, please post it here or in a comment in the sheet.

Bhangra move compendium

Thanks!
 

scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
A semantic point: teams in India often call moves different names than what is the convention here. An Ustaad I worked with in Ludhiana called many moves differently than what we call them and commented that it's different even among teams in India. That all being said, I think this is an awesome idea, just bringing it up because I imagine people may invariably get caught up on the "right" name.
 

Jahordon

Active Member
Messages
25
A semantic point: teams in India often call moves different names than what is the convention here. An Ustaad I worked with in Ludhiana called many moves differently than what we call them and commented that it's different even among teams in India. That all being said, I think this is an awesome idea, just bringing it up because I imagine people may invariably get caught up on the "right" name.
Ideally I could figure those out and throw them in a list of acceptable names for each move.
 

Basim

♥ BTF ♥
Staff member
Messages
1,391

Raghavtrip

Active Member
Messages
121
This is incredibly well done, thanks for putting this together!

Should be required to look through for every new dancer imho.
We had a similar thing for our team a few years ago and sent out a "Bhangra Culture of the Week" email each week with a move + origin of the name (like you have here), historic performance, and influential bhangra artist (+ some of their songs/videos). The idea was that we'd have young team members practice learning a new move (to help them understand how they learn best and hopefully accelerate learning early on), practice critiquing a memorable performance (to teach them some things about the circuit and practice their critiquing skills), and familiarize themselves with an artist whose songs they'll likely hear/eventually use in mixes. The initial goal of this was to make sure everyone was using these names in practice--eventually, it turned more into having everyone learn a new move each week that we might not be using in our existing choreo but that they could incorporate into freestyling/warmups/coming up with choreo. I'd definitely highly recommend doing this for new captains--it really helped us get younger members more excited about the circuit, knowledgeable about some aspects of the culture of bhangra, and confident that they could contribute to choreo/formations as early as their second semester or summer after their first year.

Comparing your list with what we had, below are a few more moves + videos. Some of them are kinda overlapping and/or have different names for the same move, but I think that's just how it is. Got most of them from Learn Bhangra, word of mouth, random videos, and some books in our college library (I think this was the best one). Can't guarantee they're all accurate, but this is what we used:

Kainchy Chaalan Naal: classic ending segment move. Name origin: Scissors (?) b/c the arm movements look like scissors closing. Video

Jandu Singha

Lehriyaan: Can't find a video, but we used this to describe a move where you're snapping with both hands (one up, one down) and stepping forward with the right foot on the 1 and 3 beats per Lavesh's video. Some people use this to describe "dharti jugni/jhoomer" but I have no idea what it's actually called

Luddi: Not sure if this is a discrete move or a name for a collection of moves of an independent dance style from which bhangra co-opts moves (e.g. giddha, jhoomer, etc.). We used this name for the typical footwork at the start of most luddi videos (right foot stepping forward ~1 foot on beats 1 and 3)

Dharti Jugni: That move where you get on the ground, stick a leg out, and rotate on the stationary leg (usually in chaal segments). I think this is "dharti jhoomer" rn in your list

Gharuka: I think it's a 360 jump into that squat/up/squat/up sequence which you linked

Hathi Chaal: That move where you bend over at the waist and look down + move your hands forwards and backwards. Not actually a chaal move usually. Name origin is from looking like an elephant's trunk waving as it walks (?)

Tari: Origin: Sap of a palm tree (often fermented for liquor). Move is meant to emulate hitting the tap into the tree to acquire the sap (?). Video

Kohra: Name origin: Fog (not sure why). Video

Ambarsariya Name origin is a guy from Amritsar (I think, might be more specific than that). Video
 

scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
Probably not the most helpful resource, but I love that this dude is in full Vardi and just walks into frame as if you caught him on a walk through the pind.

 

Jahordon

Active Member
Messages
25
Lot of great feedback and knowledge from you guys in here, so thank you! I'll be working through my compendium to incorporate this info.
 
Top