Jhumar - A rant

BhangraFanatic

New Member
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Guys, while doing jhumar please reduce your pace. It is to be relished, have a bit of marhak in those steps. Don't be in a hurry, leave it for fummniyaan. This trend just infuriates me. That is all. Thanks for listening.

Example:- https://youtu.be/AY73yUSYtqo?t=222
 

scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
Love how out of the blue this post is-but I agree with this sentiment to a degree- Teams have been speeding up their jhumar. I know when I was creating a set, I ended up doing it too-mainly because a faster jhumar means a little less grace is required or at least I felt so. I'm interested to see why other teams do it as well-to follow the trend of successful teams doing it? Or is it because they have inexperienced dancers that are still working on grace?
I find it refreshing when a team takes a nice slow jhumar
 
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237
There is fast jhummar, too. Here is just one example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErBNAlaghs8



The problem here is that jhummar is being done in the middle of a set that has the ethos of bhangra. It doesn’t match. In light of that, the example you post looks terrible to me. It is way too affected to suddenly grind your energy down into this very slow and self-conscious robo-dance.


Bhangra dancers of 70s - 80s - 90s included a faster style of jhummar in their sets, but then the whole “ch-ch” Patiala college thing came along (2000s) where people thought they were being special and so authentic by doing a slow robot dance, and since then they stick that fruity, “Quick, take my picture!” jhummar in their bhangra show.
 

BhangraFanatic

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Gabbah Shareef Bhalwan said:

There is fast jhummar, too. Here is just one example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErBNAlaghs8



The problem here is that jhummar is being done in the middle of a set that has the ethos of bhangra. It doesn’t match. In light of that, the example you post looks terrible to me. It is way too affected to suddenly grind your energy down into this very slow and self-conscious robo-dance.


Bhangra dancers of 70s - 80s - 90s included a faster style of jhummar in their sets, but then the whole “ch-ch” Patiala college thing came along (2000s) where people thought they were being special and so authentic by doing a slow robot dance, and since then they stick that fruity, “Quick, take my picture!” jhummar in their bhangra show.


You are comparing Bhangra Jhumar steps to a traditional Jhumar dance. "ch-ch" steps are actually slow steps and not faster steps. Faster steps are sialkoti jhumar.

Jhumar is a different dance in itself, like Luddi etc. which incorporates different layers of paces as it goes on. Punjabi jhumar has diverged and progressed a lot from traditional jhumar styles, as below examples will show. Besides there is Rajasthani, Cholistan, Jharkhand, Saraiki, Ravi paar, Multani jhumar styles too. Jhumar done in Punjab nowadays has been adapted from Fazilka area and was pioneered by Baba Pokhar Singh who was a rai sikh. Rai sikhs are still famous for jhumar in Bathinda/Moga/Fazilka side melas.

Let me show examples of Jhumar in India (& Pakistan):-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbFws4VH7Hc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DITT5stHVHs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uBjGYe5HSc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UkKWKcO_vU



As you can see Indian jhumars start will calling to its roots, Raavi and then gets very fast paced in the end with a call to Allah. Fast paces jhumar steps are called sialkoti jhumars.

Some teams do incorporate sialkoti steps when fanning into a formation. But novel Bhangra jhumar steps are always always slow.

https://youtu.be/ELFoVcfJOLg?t=115

https://youtu.be/0awagjT2d-A?t=326

Above video is by Niti Shergill team, and he incorporates a novel step at 6:07 that you will see incorporated by Lyallpur Khalsa college jhumar team in 2011 and was modified then by Lovely Jhumar team with a touch of surgical slowness; and now it has been taken up by DAV Bhangra team. Here are some other novel steps by different coaches:-

https://youtu.be/d1YxGLgI5cM?t=305

https://youtu.be/01BtDWOBf8g?t=259

https://youtu.be/mf5Q9wevKqw?t=255

Anyways, there is no end to this debate and I will just end it with this post from my side. I am not a tradionalist, but Jhumar is supposed to show marhak in Bhangra through its deliberate methodical slowness. Teams use it to devastating effect, kind of like a pincer in middle of the set, while transitioning into fummniyaan to goad and challenge other competitors.

Ultimately, a team knows how to steer itself to commercial music. I felt I needed to make this post, and I made it. Maybe people doing Bhangra will understand my point.
 
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237
BhangraFanatic:


I know about jhummars.


You are comparing Bhangra Jhumar steps to a traditional Jhumar dance.
[font=verdana, sans-serif]Yes. What I said was that the bhangra-based jhummar steps pre-2000s were performed at a faster speed than the post-2000s bhangra-based slow jhummar steps that you presented in the video. And I stated my opinion that the post-2000 slow steps do not fit well in the bhangra presentation. I think they look affected and dumb. They were forced in, due to a fascination with reviving jhummar in the 2000s. It came from a cheap imitation of Baba Pokhar Singh’s style, which he presented as jhummar alone, and then people put that style in bhangra -- consequently pushing out the older, faster, bhangra-based jhummar.[/font]

"ch-ch" steps are actually slow steps and not faster steps.
[font=verdana, sans-serif][/size]Yup. That’s the “Patiala college” thing I referred to. The derivative of Pokhar Singh, first interpreted through Pammi Bai, but then diluted by dingbats.[/font]
[font=verdana, sans-serif]
(If we want to be technical, however, older, faster bhangra-based steps were also done with ch-ch -- though that’s not what I was referencing.)[/font]

Faster steps are sialkoti jhumar.
No, there’s no "Sialkoti jhummar”. You just made that name/concept up (or got it from some dubious source). However, yes there is different jhummar in the northern areas -- but not as far north as Sialkot. (“Sialkoti” seems to be a random adjective people add to things…especially if they know nothing about Sialkot!)


Let me show examples of Jhumar in India (& Pakistan):-
Right, the first is Pokhar Singh’s group, doing the jhummar medley (mix) routine that he developed for the stage.
Examples 2 and 3 are several layers watered down from that.


As you can see Indian jhumars start will calling to its roots, Raavi and then gets very fast paced in the end with a call to Allah.
What does that have to do with anything? Pokhar Singh made that bol a standard part of the start of his choreographed routine, to go with the part of the routine that is supposed to show Raavi da jhummar. It has nothing to do with “its roots,” and if you see it often it’s only because the stage choreographies copy the Pokhar Singh routine.


[/size]
[SIZE=78%]But novel Bhangra jhumar steps are always always slow. [/SIZE]

[font=verdana, sans-serif][/size]This isn’t even jhummar, it’s bhalvani. It got mixed up with jhummar during the whole 2000s jhummar revival. It’s because when you played the dhol rhythm for bhalvani step you played “tika-tik” on the dhol, but then people were getting newly exposed to the Pokhar Singh style jhummar and noticed that also had a sort of “[SIZE=78%][/font][font=verdana, sans-serif][/SIZE]tika-tik” rhythm. They got it all confused, and Harbhajan Mann did it in a movie, and unscrupulous dance coaches who didn’t care taught this stuff as "jhummar."[SIZE=78%][/font]

Anyways, there is no end to this debate and I will just end it with this post from my side.
[font=verdana, sans-serif][/SIZE]What’s the debate? You started a new account and made your very first post a rant about how people dance jhummar too fast. I stated my opinion that I think dancing it slowly looks dumb when done in the context of bhangra. [SIZE=78%][/font]

[font=verdana, sans-serif][/SIZE]The problem I see with your position is not that you simply prefer the dance to be slower but that you assert it’s supposed to be that way. That’s why I offered the two counterpoints, 1) bhangra-based jhummar of 1960s-1990s and 2) non-staged jhummar to refute the claim that it is supposed to be slow.[SIZE=78%][/font]

[font=verdana, sans-serif][/SIZE]The best I can gather your position now is that when you said “jhummar” you meant to limit it to the post-2000s Patiala college jhummar. You are ranting because you are annoyed some people speed that up. However, since that was something that was just stuck in bhangra 10-15 years ago max -- in my opinion, for poor reasons -- then assertions of how that is supposed to be don’t make for a very strong rant. [size=78%][/font]
 

siddyp

Tough times never last, but tough people do.
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damn. ^^ these last 2 posts. I miss these discussions on btf. I want more!
 

scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
Gabbah- in reading your earlier posts and even this current one- I feel like its safe to say that bhangra despite people's beliefs is not an accurate reflection of original Punjabi folk dances. Would you say that's true?
I think in the context of the north american circuit what makes slow jhoomer appealing is how it adds diversity of pace to the set-I think it makes sets entertaining and dynamic
 

LyallpurProud

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Bhangra Fanatic is absolutely right. Jhumar should be a slow dance. I don't know what Gabbah Shareef Bhalwan ranted on in the thread, and managed to say nothing concrete. Anyways, I digress, back onto the thread. It is well established that without sialkoti jhumar step, any dance team would be laughed out from a competition in Punjab. It is nearly mandatory to be performed, bar none. You can find youtube videos about it where judges talk about it.


Now as we say in punjabi, "lai" or "shailli" of different styles of jhumar varies a lot from region to region. Baba Pokhar Singh's dance is an intentional slow dance, and Bhangra is faster. I still remember the days of around 1987-2003 when master harbhajan singh was pioneering transition of jhumar into bhangra. We went through a lot of experimentation in the early days, and ultimately it was settled that jhumar has to be a bit slow. The two pioneering reasons behind it were just basic experimentation, the boliyaan and the slow jhumar elicited very enthusiastic response from female audience (which bhangra dancers performed), and slow jhumar has a lot more marhak and it provides a roof afza like relief in between fast sets. And moreoever, punjabi jhumar mainly originates from one proponent, baba pokhar singh, and he was a strong proponent of slow style. And our lyallpuriya coach was also a traditionalist. It is important to delineate the jhumar performed as a whole and performed as a bhangra step. So I agree, jhumar step should be slow and there absolutely is a sialkoti jhumar step.


And what is with Gabbah shareef going on about venting on pammi bai "ch-ch" in other Jhumar thread too linked above, and using ball or heel for jhumars? Sutlej style is famous for using toes, while jhelum style uses chutki. It predates pammi bai "ch-ch" steps by a lot. He is a bit knowledgeable, but damn he is like king among the blind on here. I already have a raging hate for the poser, with his opinions going nearly unchecked.
 
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