Arts·Video

Bhangra dancing to Celtic music in the Yukon wilderness is the mash-up we didn't know we needed

For viral sensation Gurdeep Pandher, who loves to blend unexpected genres, the two art forms are a great fit.

For viral sensation Gurdeep Pandher, who loves to blend unexpected genres, the two art forms are a great fit

Bhangra dancing to Celtic music in the Yukon wilderness is the mash-up we didn't know we needed

3 months ago
2:03
For viral sensation Gurdeep Pandher, who loves to blend unexpected genres, the two art forms are a great fit. 2:03

Bhangra dancing to Celtic music may not seem like an obvious pairing, but for Yukon's Gurdeep Pandher, who loves to blend unexpected genres, the two art forms are a great fit.

"I feel that dance and music are universal languages," says Pandher. "As long as the tempo matches, the dance moves match too."

Pandher's Bhangra dance videos have become hits on social media with audiences appreciating the boundless energy and joy that he brings to his performances, usually shot outdoors against the backdrop of Yukon's stunning landscape. In his latest dance video filmed at Lake Laberge, Pandher performs to traditional Celtic music played live by local Whitehorse musicians Crooked Folk.

BJ MacLean of Crooked Folk. (CBC Arts)

Pandher met band members Keitha Clark, Jerome McIntyre and BJ MacLean at a friend's house and they've since become good friends, collaborating on several of Pandher's Bhangra concerts.

"Our friendship brought me closer to their Celtic music and it also brought them closer to my Punjabi Bhangra dance," says Padher. "We built a great cross-cultural bridge in the Yukon."

Pandher, who is also a school teacher, is passionate about using Bhangra to bring people together. "I feel that when I perform to different genres of music, it gives the great messages of unity-in-diversity and the importance of building cross-cultural bridges, which are very important in the mentally/emotionally disconnected world we live in."

Gurdeep and Celtic band Crooked Folk. (CBC Arts)

Pandher's message for his audience? "Make someone a friend who looks different than you!"

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mercedes Grundy has been producing videos for CBC Arts and Exhibitionists since 2015. She is a unabashed Leonardo DiCaprio enthusiast with an educational background in photography, and produces film and theatre when not busy here at the CBC. And while her love for the arts does not discriminate, she openly acknowledges she is a horrible dancer.

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