Bhangra, the high-energy folk dance from India

WHAT IS Bhangra?

It's a folk-music genre and dance that originated in the Punjab region of India, the type of dance that a Temple dance team was en route to perform in North Carolina when its van crashed, claiming the life of Kammini Rajoopath.

Bhangra was created by Sikh and Muslim farmers from that region - located in northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan - to celebrate the coming of a Sikh festival. Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world.

Over the years, the dance form has grown in popularity, making its way into British pop culture, film soundtracks, college competitions and talent shows.

Bhangra involves high-energy dance moves and sequences that mainly reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land.

Dancers typically wear colorful clothing, the women in a traditional Punjabi dress known as a ghagra, the men in a chaadra, a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. The folk music relies heavily on the drum called the dhol, although newer versions have fused classic rock and other genres.

The newer Bhangra also blends various forms of Western music, a combination of other dances from the same region and the original Punjabi folk tradition.

It has a significant following in South Asia and in the South Asian community in England.