Despite the bitterness in Indo-Pak relations due to political reasons, an effort is underway in Punjabi University to revive the composite tradition of undivided Punjab through folk dances.
The university has made addition to its existing rules for Bhangra and Giddha to revive the originality in dance forms that dates back to centuries old composite tradition of both sides of Punjab.
The revised rules will be implemented in its coming zonal and inter-zonal competitions, starting next month. The Punjabi University has also written to all other universities in Punjab for common adoption of rules from next year and a meeting in this regard is expected soon.
"The move is aimed at rhythmic and lyrical touch to folk dances, which is believed to be overpowered by speed and loudness these days," say local officials
To strike a balance, the university has made compulsory for its participants in Bhangra to wear 'Ghungroo' (ankle bells) to know the correct beat and mood of the dance form. The rhythmic movements of the shoulders have also been made mandatory while performing Bhangra. The snapping of fingers, whistling and clapping has also been made intrinsic part of Bhangra.
The playing surface of the dhol should be made of leather, not any other synthetic material, which is used these days for extra loudness. Use of microphone is also prohibited for dholi (drum player).
Pammi Bai, who drafted these rules along with a team of experts, said that Bhangra has literally become a PT exercise these days. In other side of Punjab, originality is still maintained and we want similar tradition here.
He said, "We are not trying to curb the improvisation element in dance forms as participants can focus on speed as well, but it will be supported by subtle nuisances that we have tried to add in new rules."
In Gidha on the other hand, the new rules suggest that performance should concentrate on one central theme and double meaning bolyians are prohibited. Besides there, changes are made for dress code and other relevant aspect of the dance form.
"We want to revive fragrance of composite Punjabi culture through new norms with a hope that new changes will be taken in good spirit," said director of student welfare, Satish Verma.
Zonal youth festival is scheduled from October 5-7 in Bhatinda zone, followed by Mansa, Ropar, Fatehgrah Sahib, Sangrur and Patiala zones, which will continue till October 16.
Addition of new rules for Giddha
Giddha should be based on one central theme like Jago, Teej, etc, and not a mixture of everything.
Bolyians and songs should be centered around selected themes only. Vulgar boliyians are completed prohibited.
During the performance, only relevant props should be brought onto the stage.
Shirts worn during the performance should be long and it should have full sleeves or at least ¾ of the arms length. Further skirts should be heavy and performance should wear salwar not slex below skirts.
Performers should avoid sudden burst of energy, rather flow with the dance form.