'Luddi' exhibition by Vasda Punjab at Capital Bhangra 2014

mirzaahh

Too hot to fit in White Skin,So God made me Brown
Messages
49
0:55 -1:28 TOTAL EAR-GASM !! I wish this was a studio beat I could use this as my Ringtone!!
 

HdBrar

Welcome to the Dark Side.
Messages
643
That double side turla looks wild. lol Reminds me of wings on top of a pagh.
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,434
i fucking love luddi!!!! this is the best thing to ever come out of a uk comp!!!
also need a vid of how to tie the double turla pagg!
 

faizan

Just shut up and dance
Messages
1,738
Wow. What an amazing moment. Luddi is one of the folkiest of the folk punjabi dances. Props to capital bhangra man. As an organizer I am very impressed.

Not to detract from vasda punjab, because that was art (minus the lack of sync at times, but punjabi folk dances at their heart are not supposed to be completely clean anyway as dancers show their hapiness and soul, and that is something that is inherently not in sync as it is a personal expression). But, can someone post a thorogh review and analysis of capital bhangra. Thanks.
 

karandeol

Too many rookies, not enough GABROOS
Messages
219
mirzaahh said:
0:55 -1:28 TOTAL EAR-GASM !! I wish this was a studio beat I could use this as my Ringtone!!
Babbu Maan's Challa song has a very similar melody, you should check it out
 

Basim

♥ BTF ♥
Staff member
Messages
1,365
Mickey Mouse pagg/turla combo ftw! :D

A cool exhibition act. The UK stepping up their game. Thanks for sharing.

~ Basim :)
 

DamanSingh

Member
Messages
849
This is great!

faizan said:
Not to detract from vasda punjab, because that was art (minus the lack of sync at times, but punjabi folk dances at their heart are not supposed to be completely clean anyway as dancers show their hapiness and soul, and that is something that is inherently not in sync as it is a personal expression). But, can someone post a thorogh review and analysis of capital bhangra. Thanks.
+1!
 
Messages
228
The dholi plays legit. (None of that British 'dhol academy' weirdness. :p ) Check out the 3 toRas he plays at the end = he has learned from a master.


As for the dance: This should not take anything away from the performers to remind that this is a dance routine that has been named "luddi," rather than "the old Punjabi dance of luddi."


Just as "bhangra" was an old name slapped on a new made up routine. Just as a revived "jhummar" (in more than one competing routine!) was introduced (after getting bored with bhangra) as an item to youth festivals in the 90s and really peaked in 2004... I believe it was in 2007 youth festival season that, having gotten bored of jhummar (though Diaspora audiences were still discovering it), this "luddi" routine was introduced.


Garib Dass showed me the video of this performance directed by his son, dholi Des Raj, just about a week after it happened in 2007.
Desraj dholi
I suspect this was partly based in stuff that Garib Dass' Chandigarh cohort of dancers had been doing in the 90s. Part of the weirdness of it was that much was based around the so-called "luddi" action of stage bhangra, extrapolated—the action that, according to some perspectives, was essentially made up by Balbir Singh Sekhon of the PEPSU bhangra troupe in the 1950s. Most of the routine is just filling things in with stage bhangra-like moves. Like the vardi of bhangra, it is largely the dress (the turban), along with song lyrics about "luddi" that are "marking" the item as "luddi". Practically nothing about it is the traditional dance, but rather it is just an item of interest and entertainment that means to show a different routine than the very formulaic bhangra of 1990s-2000s Punjab.


Anyway, variations of this routine look to have made the rounds for a few years in Punjab after that November 2007 season. Now it's in UK and we'll see how long it takes to get out of their system :)


It is a shame (but not at all surprising) that people have been introducing this routine with comments of "luddi is this, luddi is that." I'll never understand why they do that in India. The dancers (or at least the dance director and/or dholi) obviously know this is just a routine they're presenting, but they allow these "hun tuhaade saahmne, tuhaade rubaroo..." presenters give these disconnected introductions about how now you're gonna see luddi (or whatever) which comes from region blah blah blah. So much pretense.


I think Vasda Punjab give a sensitive performance - well, I wish they didn't move like today's flouncy Diaspora bhangra dancers ::) - but aside from that, nice work! ;)
My comments are just "for the record" before some new "myth of Luddi" takes root! The funny thing is that unlike when bhangra, jhummar, and sammi were developing as stage dances, now we have access to YouTube with videos of actual luddi dance. Hopefully performances like this will inspire people to check out the traditional luddi, and to make the distinction that this stage composition is a work of art belonging to a different time/category.


N.B. To illustrate the difference in the dance style between what I'm seeing here (subtly—again, I do think they do a good job) and what I'd consider to be a ~more "Punjab" style (non-bhangra style?) way of doing this "luddi" routine, see here:
Punjabi Folk Dance LUDDI
 

gssaggu1

UK Bhangra: St George's // Vasda Punjab
Messages
58
Gabbah Shareef Bhalwan said:
The dholi plays legit. (None of that British 'dhol academy' weirdness. :p ) Check out the 3 toRas he plays at the end = he has learned from a master.

Ustaad Guvi ripping it!
 
Messages
228
gssaggu1 said:
Gabbah Shareef Bhalwan said:
The dholi plays legit. (None of that British 'dhol academy' weirdness. :p ) Check out the 3 toRas he plays at the end = he has learned from a master.

Ustaad Guvi ripping it!

Congrats on your performance! Brilliant job.


Am I right in thinking that Ustad Gurvi was Garib Dass' chela? I tried to meet him once when I was at Heathrow Airport on a layover, but I was in the wrong terminal and they wouldn't let me go to another terminal. (If that makes sense to you, then we're talking about the same Gurvinder ;) )
If so, that makes sense that he was able to accompany you guys on this luddi that I think was developed in the 80s-90s glory days of Garib Dass' "Punjab Arts International" cohort in Chandigarh :)
 

gssaggu1

UK Bhangra: St George's // Vasda Punjab
Messages
58
Thanks for the kind words, but unfortunately I was only in the audience on this occasion! I'll refer the team to your earlier post as I feel it provides some insightful critique to the set which only a few such as yourself can provide. Ustaad Ji is full of knowledge and honestly has a knowledge of bhangra and dhol far greater than anyone I know. He may well be Garib Dass' chela - I'll ask him when I next see him!
 
Messages
228
gssaggu1 said:
Thanks for the kind words, but unfortunately I was only in the audience on this occasion! I'll refer the team to your earlier post as I feel it provides some insightful critique to the set which only a few such as yourself can provide. Ustaad Ji is full of knowledge and honestly has a knowledge of bhangra and dhol far greater than anyone I know. He may well be Garib Dass' chela - I'll ask him when I next see him!

Cool, thanks.


To be clear: My critique is not of the performance (well, except for the comment on dance style - which is only a matter of personal opinion/preference), but of the framing of the composition as the traditional luddi. I blame this on people in India! By the time it gets to "us" in other countries, we have little choice but to assume that the practitioners in India are telling us the right thing!
And, you know, it is not necessarily even their "fault," either. My take on this is that performers are first and foremost artists who create...and in addition, the traditional professional performers are so strapped for cash financially AND their voice as "little people" is often ignored, anyway... so when "big people" are willing to pay them to do their art, and if those same "layperson" audiences want to imagine that their composition is the traditional form, the poor/humble performers just go ahead and allow the "big people" to say whatever they want when they introduce the dance...and they allow the "paying" audience (their patrons) to think whatever they want if it makes them happy.
There's a disconnect between what the artists are doing, where it came from, etc. and how the "culture promoters" at colleges, etc. choose to "frame" it.


Maybe that didn't make it more clear, haha...
In short: "we" kind of accidentally get tricked into seeing things a bit differently than they are.


At the same time, I admit it would seem really WEIRD to have a performance of "folk dance" and have someone articulate (i.e. as I am doing) that this is just a composition that happens to be called "luddi." It would really spoil the fun and kill the spirit!


But that's what I'm here for—fun-spolier and spirit-killer! :p
 

jaz

New Member
Messages
3
Same guy Gibb, I don't know if you have spoken to him but he knows of you as we spoke about your thesis a couple of months ago.
 

msghoya

New Member
Messages
63
it has been a lifelong dream of mine to make the pilgrimage to the hut. gurvy paji is one of the most hilarious and genuine human beings you will find on this planet, not to mention he understands dhol the way indian hustler babas understand snake psychology
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,434
Gabbah Shareef Bhalwan said:
I think Vasda Punjab give a sensitive performance - well, I wish they didn't move like today's flouncy Diaspora bhangra dancers ::) - but aside from that, nice work! ;)
My comments are just "for the record" before some new "myth of Luddi" takes root! The funny thing is that unlike when bhangra, jhummar, and sammi were developing as stage dances, now we have access to YouTube with videos of actual luddi dance. Hopefully performances like this will inspire people to check out the traditional luddi, and to make the distinction that this stage composition is a work of art belonging to a different time/category.

N.B. To illustrate the difference in the dance style between what I'm seeing here (subtly—again, I do think they do a good job) and what I'd consider to be a ~more "Punjab" style (non-bhangra style?) way of doing this "luddi" routine, see here:
gibb, you're killin me bro. its tough to find youtube examples of traditional luddi, because the videos listed as luddi show the same sort of style as the videos listed as sammi which show a dance similar to the videos listed as pakistani jhoomer.
the 2 videos i found that show something distinctly different from sammi and jhoomer are the ones below:
Traditional Dance (Luddi)
Noor Jehan - Luddi Hey Jamalo Pao
we can all agree that modern bhangra is an amalgamation of dance forms and moves loosely derived and distilled from traditional folk dances. just as modern jhoomer has very little semblance to the traditional form of jhoomer which still exists in pakistan, the modern form of luddi seems to have little in common with traditional luddi but the motions are derived from the traditional style. what i really want to know, hopefully you can help me on the matter, is whether there are distinct traditional forms of luddi; are there multiple "traditional" forms of the dance which vary depending on the region of pakistan/punjab from which they originate?

the second video you posted which showcases the more "punjab" style shows a more loose/freeform version of the modern luddi but the dhol beat and the moves themselves are of the same composition as in the OP video. modern luddi has "matured" only in the indian live competition scene, in most if not all american/canadian music sets luddi style moves are pretty much used just as filler these days, i cant remember the last time a music set had a distinct luddi segment in it. its also uncommon these days to see a complex luddi segment in live indian performances but the "flouncy" style is due to the fact that luddi was done as a part of competitive live sets and was "standardized." flouncy modern luddi zindabaad!!! it's the luddi bhangra deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
 
Messages
228
haha, why am I killing you? :D I used to find plenty of examples of traditional style luddi on the ol' YouTube. I remember this distinctly because when I found it I was so excited. See, when I was doing research on these dances, there was no YouTube. And from the vantage of India, it was a great mystery what may or may not be still existing n Pakistan. I had gone to Pakistan (briefly), but people said the dances were not around. Pakistani books described them, but the descriptions read suspiciously like Urdu copies of books written by British colonial officers many years earlier.


Now, this "modern luddi" - this composition called luddi - has been performed enough and videorecorded enough that evidently it is dominating space in the search results on YouTube. That's how search engines work - sucks for you that you'll have to search harder ;) And that's how these things make an impression on the public. This is exactly one reason why I made my "statement for the record" on this thread, to nip things in the bud. Because you're only going to see more and more of these pretend luddis now on YouTube, and since YT is where all the "kids" ;D get their info nowadays, it will just confirm their already wrong impression as time goes on.


It's so easy to find traditional luddis...you gotta look at videos from Pakistan, my man. India has nothing.
chakwal luddi


I think there could be a thread just on Luddi, where people could put the info and videos. Then all the bhangra dancers would see it and it would be so obvious how different the actual luddi is from this stage composition. It would also be obvious that the pretense that these Indian /Indian-American stage forms are just the traditional dances adapted to stage constraints and "modernized" is also a nonsense idea.


The thread would also give a sense of the regional interpretations of traditional luddi. Yes, there are different varieties. Can I outline all of the differences? No. I tried a little bit at one point, but that was again before youtube and, further, I was focusing on so many other things that I didn't have time to "waste" with a seemingly forgotten dance. I can tell you though that, like 'jhummar', to some degree 'luddi' can be understood as a term that many people used for whatever dance they did going around in a circle. They danced however they danced in that region, and what they called it was an afterthought. People of one region might see people of another dancing and think that was like their 'luddi' even though the people dancing called in 'jhumar'.


There is a section on luddi in my dissertation.


we can all agree that modern bhangra is an amalgamation of dance forms and moves loosely derived and distilled from traditional folk dances.

I do not agree with that. You're giving modern bhangra too much credit, and you're making it sound like all the stuff in the "Visual History" thread never happened. Perhaps in the mid 1950s you could imagine stage bhangra this way. But nowadays 'bhangra' looks absolutely nothing like traditional bhangra. Not only the actions, but the way people move is not even like the way Punjabis moved a couple decades ago. ...though it's the way they move now, so fine! ;D


the modern form of luddi seems to have little in common with traditional luddi but the motions are derived from the traditional style.

No. That's why I posted. There is hardly anything that looks like luddi motions in the composition. You know I am saying this with no disrespect, because I suspect my guru, Garib Dass, had a hand in shaping the 'original' luddi composition (though it has surely been adapted since then). It is just a stage piece with a vague inspiration of the idea of luddi. This includes using a luddi dhol rhythm every once in a while (!), the mis-named "luddi" action that is found in stage bhangra, saying "luddi" every once in a while in the song lyrics, and a style of costume that is distinct from bhangra's. Surface stuff, sprinkled. Now, do at that and move your body in the way that competition bhangra dances have been doing in recent years, and you get something that is like luddi like skim milk is to whiskey.


the second video you posted which showcases the more "punjab" style shows a more loose/freeform version of the modern luddi but the dhol beat and the moves themselves are of the same composition as in the OP video.
Yes, the point of posting was that it is the same composition - to compare apples to apples. It was to illustrate that the people in that video are dancing the composition in a style (the way they move, not what actions they do) in a "Punjab" way, whereas the one's in the OP are doing it in a "diaspora bhangra" way.


in most if not all american/canadian music sets luddi style moves are pretty much used just as filler these days,

What luddi style moves? Watch the video above and tell me if there is anything in modern "do you even lift, bro?" bhangra that looks anything like it. We might as well be watching folk dance of Lebanon or Greece or Uzbekistan. But no, it's actually Punjabi.


its also uncommon these days to see a complex luddi segment in live indian performances
It's not done. Are you crazy? Nobody has a clue what luddi is in India. Garib Dass' generation was the last to have a clue, but they were even filling in huge gaps in memory. I have already explained (above) why I think that these artists would have gone along with the pretense in the past. To go along with the pretense now, using postmodernistic ways of stretching concepts like "derived from traditional" - especially when evidence to the contrary is just a click away - is madness.
 
Top