The various South Asian dance forms all have unique characteristics, but these Bhangra dance performances show you why it is considered the elite and most popular form of Desi dance.
Bhangra in all its forms is joyful, energetic and above all vibrant.
The songs are full of rhythm, bass, catchy lyrics and historical instruments that date back to the old Bhangra folk of Punjab.
The dance is just as rich. In most cases, women wear a traditional salwar kameez and men opt for lungis with colorful turbans.
They create exciting routines using flashy footwork and flexible movements where they dive, jump, twirl and hop around the stage.
These Bhangra dance performances show just how magical this art form truly is.
Likewise, modern bands are expanding the style by dancing to more urban music and testing the versatility of Bhangra.
So, here are the best Bhangra dance shows for you to enjoy. Who knows, you might even take a step or two!
Kick-off is self-proclaimed as “India’s First Bhangra Crew”. Folkin Desi has over seven members who all bring different personalities to the stage.
They lit up the crowd in 2018 when they performed a routine to Daddy Yankee’s 2010 anthem “Gasolina.”
The fusion of South Asian dance and Latin music went together perfectly.
The track is powerful and gave Folkin Desi a platform to deliver an unparalleled amount of energy.
They then bring instruments like the saap and the khunda to use in their choreography on tracks like “Khayal” by Mankirt Aulakh (2018).
One person who enjoyed the routine was Javier Rodriguez who commented on YouTube:
“As a Latino, it’s so interesting to see Punjabis dancing this cool mix with ‘Gasolina’. So good.”
Another fan, Gurnoor Khurana, added:
“I’ve never seen such a wonderful mashup so well curated and done to amp up any vibe.”
The whole show is over six minutes long, which is impressive.
It’s clear that their bodies are trained to withstand lots of movement, respond to crowds, and use instruments while dancing, all with a smile on their faces.
For many, it comes as no surprise that BFunk made it onto this list of top Bhangra dance shows.
The lead duo of Shivani Bhagwan and Chaya Kumar has been a catalyst in bringing bhangra and South Asian dance to modern generations.
Their unique blends of traditional dance and hip hop or pop songs have been going viral for years on social media.
But, one of their most popular showcases is this dance to DJ Vandan’s 2015 remix of Miss Pooja’s “Nakhreya Mari.”
BFunk cleverly use some Bollywood-like moves to slow down the routine, then switch to fantastic Bhangra moves as the track picks up speed.
Here you will find all the elements of a good Bhangra routine. Endless smile, hand gestures, shakes and flickers.
What’s more fascinating about it are the other dancers taking over the choreography. Most notably, the second performer, who put her own spin on every move with effortless energy.
While Bhangra dance performances usually have more than one dancer to emphasize each move, this one-woman routine to DJ Sanj’s landmark track “Das Ja” (2005) is amazing.
BHANGRAlicious is run by Amreen Gill, a trained dancer and actress who also teaches Bhangra on YouTube for fitness purposes.
Amreen is based in Vancouver, Canada and started dancing when she was just four years old.
She trained in Amritsar, India for six years, learning the ins and outs of Bhangra, gidha and Bollywood styles.
So it’s clear to see how Amreen brings all that experience into this high-energy performance. Her movements merge all her training and produce a hypnotic choreography.
From intricate footwork to fluid body transitions, this effortless routine engages you from the start. A viewer, Baljeet Singh, declared his love:
“I just saw you dance, honestly it was perfect, beautiful expression, clear movements, in fact you are magnificent!
What a performance! WOW!!!”
Another fan, Vice Roy, added:
“These movements are quite clear. People who Bhangra know how much stamina it takes.
With over 4 million views on YouTube, Amreen shines a light on Bhangra dancing and how fun it can be, even on your own.
Bhangra City Center
India’s largest Bhangra academy, Downtown Bhangra, captivated audiences and judges alike when they performed on India has talent in 2021.
With 51 members on stage, the band gave a magical display of creativity, passion and skill.
While there were many dancers, every section of the routine was executed perfectly.
Also, each part of the stage was filled with different choreography but they all gelled in uniform.
All of the individuals were dressed in beautiful navy blue and pink colors which added the Desi flavor to the movements.
Interestingly, the band was informed at the last minute that they had to prepare a different set of songs than the original one.
This meant that this whole performance had minimal repetition, but impressed with the unique relationship and talent that the dancers all have.
The judges which included Shilpa Shetty and Kirron Kher were also enthralled and gave a standing ovation at the end.
With over 3 million hits on YouTube, California band Bhangra Empire presented this incredible tribute to legendary singer Sidhu Moosewala.
Sidhu, who died in May 2022, was a pioneer for many. Therefore, Bhangra Empire knew that dancing was the best way to show their utmost respect for the great musician.
Opening with a beautiful video tribute, the band then kicks off the electrifying routine of “The Last Ride” (2022).
Like Folkin Desi, the dancers use saaps to rock the crowd and get everyone bouncing.
The seven-minute routine spans Sidhu’s catalog and ranges from tracks like “Dollar” (2018) to “Sohne Lagde” (2019) to “Old Skool” (2020).
As the audience cheered on the dancers, many others shared their admiration online, flooding the video with comments. TMar said:
“The ending was beautiful when they made the gesture, tears of joy.
“WELL DONE to the dancers and the entire team who made this possible. We will always keep it alive, thank you for this magnificent tribute!
Ritika Attree added to this saying:
“The performance just gave goosebumps from start to finish.”
“This is the true tribute to the legend…you will always be in our hearts.”
With a mix of fast and more complex dance steps, Bhangra Empire presented an exciting showcase of flair and groove.
This is all part of their motivation to keep in touch with their culture and spread it to the general public as well.
These iconic Bhangra dance performances will bring your eyes to light and prove that the dance form is a pervasive art form in the culture.
It’s also nice to see such a skilled craft perform on stages around the world.
Although these dancers are very talented in themselves, their movements are symbolic of those first created by the Punjabi during the harvest all those years ago.
Take a look at these performances and the fascinating expression of this dance.