Bhangra Moves : From Ludhiana to London and Beyond book cover
1st Edition

Bhangra Moves
From Ludhiana to London and Beyond

ISBN 9781138255579
Published November 10, 2016 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

Bhangra is commonly understood as the hybrid music produced in Britain by British Asian music producers through mixing Panjabi folk melodies with western pop and black dance rhythms. This is derived from a Punjabi harvest dance of the same name. This book looks at Bhangra's global flows from one of its originary sites, the Indian subcontinent, to contribute to the understanding of emerging South Asian cultural practices such as Bhangra or Bollywood in multi-ethnic societies. It seeks to trace Bhangra's moves from Punjab and its 'return back' to look at the forces that initiate and regulate global flows of local texts and to ask how their producers and consumers redirect them to produce new definitions of culture, identity and nation. The critical importance of this book lies in understanding the difference between the present globalizing wave and previous trans-local movements. Gera Roy contrasts the frames of cultural imperialism with those of cultural invasion to show how Indian cultures have constantly reinvented themselves by cross-pollinating with 'invading' cultures such as Hellenic, Persian, Arabic and many others in the past. By looking at Bhangra's flows to and from India, the book revises the relation between culture, space and identity and challenges boundaries. It weighs both the uses and costs of visibility provided by global networks to marginalized groups in diverse localities and explores whether collaborations between Bhangra practitioners, largely of working class origin, give ordinary people any control over the circulation of culture in the global village. Finally, the book considers whether cultural practices can alter hierarchies and power structures in the real world.

Table of Contents

Contents: Flows across the Chenab; No mixing please! We are Indian; Mann Panjab De: fabricating authority; Naqqal, mimicry and the signifying monkey; Global bazaar, local peddlers; Desi networks; Cool guys, desi boyz and Panjabi munde dance the bhangra; Performing the Panjabi body; Bhangra nation; Who speaks for the jat?: vernacular cosmopolitanisms; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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Anjali Gera Roy is Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India


'... for the ardent fan eager to understand what makes bhangra bhangra, it's a fascinating read.' Songlines 'Anjali Gera Roy's book Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond is a prodigious tour de force in the writing of the complex cultural history of popular Punjabi folk dance 'Bhangra'. In this brilliantly annotated and well-researched work, charged with a lucidly written prose running into some two hundred and fifty pages, Roy has done a commendable job of archiving the entangled genealogy of one of the most popular folk dances and its subsequent mutations as it winged its way across cultures, nations and continents on a transcontinental journey.' South Asian Ensemble ’Bhangra Moves is chock-a-block filled with ideas, and this is a testament to Anjali Gera Roy’s long involvement with and thinking about this subject. It is the happy result of many stimulating conversations with individuals all over the world.’ Sikh Formations ’Anjali Roy’s impressive and extensive volume [...] is the first major study of Bhangra that takes seriously its development in the Indian context... it is clearly essential reading for anyone interested in the Punjab, Punjabi culture and of course Bhangra.’ Journal of Intercultural Studies '... [Anjali Gera Roy] leads us through a rich and complex reading of bhangra in a global frame, drawing on poststructuralist and postcolonial theory. Her analysis is well-written and erudite as much as it is humorous. Her vibrant and fun writing style seems to mirror the genre, as she insists on bhangra as a foot-tapping musical form, something that persuades through providing pleasure...' Journal of Punjab Studies 'Anjali Gera Roy’s scholarly meditation on the global phenomenon that is Bhangra will prove a valuable introduction to the complicated national and transnational contexts for the changing shape of this dance/music form... this book is required reading for anyone interested in understanding the global dimension