“Dancing Bhangra brings a lot of joy and fun. By dancing, you get to know yourself better and express your feelings. When we a happy song comes on, your body starts moving. It's always smiles all around."
Gajjdi Jawani is UTP's bhangra dance troupe. Led by its choreographer cum president, Arvinderpal Singh Gill a/l Jasbir Singh, 20, a civil engineering student, the group forms part of an international Bhangra coalition that seeks to bring the best of Bhangra music and dance performance to UTP.
“The goal is to bring in more international Bhangra groups here. From the exposure, we hope to set up a bigger bhangra dance outfit that will be active participants in the student community at UTP," says Alvinerderpal.
According to Alvinerderpal, Bhangra, with its high-energy beats and whirling dance, could electrify the crowd. But one thing always comes through: a passion to light up an electric dance performance.
Every year, the group holds its own dance competition. Called UTP's Bangra Dance Off, five to six Bhangra teams from local and abroad come to show their best moves. To create an international vibe, every year, the group invites participating teams from Hong Kong, India and Singapore to the event.
“For UTP Bhangra Dance Off, we invite our judges from India, Singapore, Australia and the UAE. Last year we had a turn up of around 700. The previous year however, 1,200 Bhangra fans from all over the country and abroad came to see the show," says Alvinerderpal.
To give more visibility to the Bhangra music, the group invites a host of star performers to its show. Last year, Fateh's (a famous Punjabi rapper from Canada) introduction was greeted with a loud cheer by the turn up at the competition.
In 2016, the group invited Sandeep Brar from India to stage a performance. “He was also our guest judge in our 2016 Bangra Dance Off where Gajjdi Jawani got third in the competition," explains Alvinerderpal.
Bangra, a traditional Punjabi dance is known the world over as a traditional Punjabi dance choreographed around happy occasions to grace events such as weddings and birthdays.
Furthermore, the group had also travelled to many places to get exposure. “In 2016, we went to Melbourne for Bhangra Down Under." Apart from this, the group also joined an event held by MyPerintis in Kuala Lumpur where Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was the VVIP. “It's a fund raising event and our third event for the year."
At the moment, according to Alvinder, the group has already started making preparations for RedDot Bhangra 2020 competition that will be held in Singapore. “RedDot will be somewhere in July. But before we go to Singapore, we are going to kick off next year by performing at UTP's flagship event, the Tapestry of Colors."
In light of the preparation for RedDot Bhangra 2020, Alvinderpal says, “We are always in touch with the groups in Hong Kong and India. They always tell us what we can do to improve. Now that we've got our vibrant new costumes from India, we can't wait to rock them at the show."
Apart from their new costumes, the group is also getting a new song. “It's a mixed of many types of Bhangra music where we dance all seven types of Bhangra dances in one song under 7 minutes," explains Alvinderpal.
Composed by a DJ in Singapore, the music is said to be completed before RedDot Bhangra 2020. Currently, the group has 12 active members as the spine of the team. “It's open to all," says Alvinderpal. “We believe, everyone can dance Bhangra. It's a fun dance to dance," he says.
According to Alvinderpal, Bhangra is sporadically making waves around the world. “It's becoming more famous in the U.S and Australia, to name a few," says Alvinderpal.
“Basically, we can play to any beat. Make it upbeat or slow beat, we can dance Bhangra to any song, just add in the drums and off we go. That's how versatile Bhangra is," concludes Alvinderpal.
Indeed, Gajjdi Jawani is another prime example of UTP's profound career connected learning and industry collaboration. From the work we do, we foster long-term relationships with our global social-impact partners to prepare our students, people and researchers as global citizens.
As a leading university in engineering, science and technology, our graduates are driven to exceed their professional objectives and contribute towards overcoming capability deficit across all sectors and industries.
Published on 8 December 2020