This Isn't A Battlefield
Hey guys I'm back! Sorry it's been a while. I've been totally caught up with family stuff and some events. Big shoutout to my homies from JSA in Delaware for getting me the gig on June 22nd! It was exhausting but I had a great time.
Anyways, last night I watched a video from VIBC which is the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration. It was held from May 30th to June 8th this year and featured a bunch of amazing artists and talented bhangra teams. They also had a discussion with a panel on a bunch of topics like Bhangra Teams' Forum, modern and traditional bhangra, and the whole popularity and competition factor.
Ever since 7th grade when I started dancing I've been learning more and more about bhangra itself, competitions,teams and the whole circuit.
An issue that one of the girls in the discussion brought up was that on BTF whenever she would give feedback she would get shut down because she "doesn't dance". Is that some kind of defense mechanism for anyone to use when they're given constructive criticism? Does the opinion of an audience member not count as "legit" feedback anymore? Or do some teams simply think they're the best? It seems like whenever a team doesn't want criticism they play the "oh but you don't dance" card.
As a self taught solo performer, I still have a lot to learn. But isn't it the duty of the more experienced dancers and teams to help educate the new dancers in the circuit rather than shutting them down every single time? If I were to post some feedback on BTF I would get a comment like "oh, but you've never danced on a team". Honestly, if us newbies are wrong, TELL US WHY. Don't rudely shut people down on a worldwide forum.
Most teams almost see bhangra as a popularity contest now rather than a folk dance and an age old tradition. Why is there so much hate and negativity in the bhangra community?
Also, in my opinion old is gold. Gimmicks are great to entertain the crowd and are super cool, but are we not losing sight of what bhangra really is?
I really just had to vent about that. But to anyone reading this who knows anything about bhangra, let's teach each other and share our views, because in the end our main goal should be to preserve our culture and pass it on to future generations. Competitions are great and all, but this isn't a battlefield. We all have one common passion, which is bhangra. Let's keep it that way and not turn against each other. Strive for respect, not popularity. The point is to make the bhangra community bigger, not create a divide. I get that competitions are intense and there's nothing wrong with some healthy competition, but why let that competition take over the entire circuit and blind us from seeing what bhangra truly is?
Bhangra Teams Forum is a great idea and a great way for everyone to communicate and learn. I'd love to see it grow more and see more positive feedback on the posts to keep it as awesome as it's always been
If I have the wrong impression, someone please comment or message me or something and let me know. Because as someone who's almost based my life around bhangra, I'd like to know. I will appreciate any sort of feedback.
I also want to quickly thank all of those in the Bhangra community who have supported me and been genuinely kind to me throughout this learning process, specially my favorite ladies from SMD! <3
OH and I can't stand it when people say that girls can't do bhangra. Just saying.