Bhangra in Huddersfield: Exhibition explores history of traditional Indian dance
Discover Bhangra in Huddersfield
A postmaster from Huddersfield has delivered his latest gift to the town of Huddersfield this past month with an exciting exhibition looking into the past, present and future of Bhangra dancing.
When not stamping parcels, Hardeep Singh Sahota is out promoting the dance he loves, with his latest art exhibition - ‘Bhangra Renaissance’ – now on show at the Huddersfield Art Gallery.
Exploring the growth of Bhangra in Huddersfield and wider afield, the gallery includes a plethora of paintings, instruments and traditional dresses for visitors to view.
Workshops are also being held at the gallery to promote and develop an understanding of the traditional Indian dance in Kirklees.
Hardeep, who has a Masters Degree in the subject, says the exhibition is a continuation of the work he previously carried out. He has also published a book on the subject two years ago - titled ‘Bhangra: Mystics, Music and Migration’.
“As I was putting the book together, I found myself approaching lots of artists to help illustrate it,” he said.
“I already had the words but I knew in my mind that it would be the pictures that really help people connect with the book.”
Hardeep was able to use pictures from local photographer, Tim Smith, as well as a selection of old archived images.
To further demonstrate the vibrant nature of Bhangra, he contacted artists from around the world to use images which he believed would add to the book.
“I saw a number of really stunning pieces online and had to contact artists to get the rights to use these images in my book,” he said.
“I quickly noticed that all these images needed showcasing on a larger platform. The art gallery gives people a unique opportunity to learn about Bhangra in Kirklees and see how it inspires different art forms. The book is a great starting point but this exhibition is exactly how the art should be displayed.”
He added: “Not all the pieces are done by professional artists though. They are joined on the walls by locally created pieces from art students and even my wife and I have created pieces.”
With ‘something for everyone’ on show, Hardeep urged people to visit the exhibition before it closes next month.
He said: “A lot of people will have heard about Bhangra but to see the story told visually really highlights the cultural aspect of it.
“There is some rich, colourful and vibrant artwork on show here and it is something completely new to Huddersfield. I’m sure you will love it.”
Bhangra Renaissance is a free exhibition that is open to the public and will run until Saturday 19th March.