For one day only, online sensation and traditional Bhangra dancer, Gurdeep Pandher, is coming to Victoria on Friday, August 6th!
Gurdeep will be hosting a free virtual event and performance at the Uptown street mural at 12 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
Uptown visitors are welcome to watch in-person while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Advance registration is required.
Gurdeep Pandher and Bhangra
Punjab-born and Yukon-living Gurdeep Pandher has taken the world by storm by taking the traditional folk dance, Bhangra, around Canada and online since 2012.
Over time, his posts went viral and his work has been featured on CBC Yukon, CBC National, CTV National News, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, SBS Australia, and many other platforms.
Even Canadian embassies abroad have shared his work.
A traditional folk dance originating in Punjab, India, Bhangra was started by farmers so they could “joyfully and rhythmically do their tasks,” Gurdeep told Victoria Buzz.
“Farming was tough, so Punjab farmers came up with the idea that if they did it more rhythmically it could be joyful. So, they started Bhangra purely for happiness, positivity, and to give thanks to their land,” said Gurdeep.
Pandher’s goal with Bhangra is still to bring joy and positivity to whoever sees him dancing, but during COVID-19 pandemic, he told me that joy and positivity has meant much different than when Bhangra first started, albeit still having its similarities.
“My first hope is that in my online posts and my dancing is for whoever sees it to feel joyful positive energy,” said Gurdeep.
“I do feel during the pandemic there was a push to appreciate joy and positivity more.”
Another hope of Gurdeep, is to create cross-cultural bridges and to be a welcoming force in the fight for unity.
“Sometimes we can all feel so divided, especially nowadays. Above all else, I want to bring unity and humanity.”
The class and performance on Friday will be Gurdeep’s third time performing in Victoria.
In 2019, Pandher collaborated with the Canadian Armed Forces to create a Punjabi Bhangra dance video to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in The Canadian Forces.
While Gurdeep won’t be touring Canada like he’s used to this year – he’s lived in ten Canadian cities – he hopes to hit the highway next year, bringing his special brand of joy and positivity to the country one step at a time.
Follow @uptownvictoria and @gurdeeppandher on Instagram for the latest updates and event highlights.