Get ready for a big outdoor dance party Saturday evening, as the Mondavi Center brings the energetic Punjabi dance rhythms of Non Stop Bhangra to the UC Davis Quad for the second of this year’s free SummerMusic events.
Non Stop Bhangra has been a popular monthly event in San Francisco for the better part of eight years. With a team of dancers, a drummer playing a traditional Indian-style instrument, and DJ Jimmy Love (who mixes in some hip-hop, electronica and reggae with the traditional Punjabi music), Non Stop Bhangra is “more of a collective than a typical band,” according to co-founder Vicki Virk, of the Dholrhythms Dance Company.
The evening will start at 7:30 p.m., with an “interactive portion where we teach basic Bhangra dance steps,” Virk said. There also will be a DJ set with Jimmy Love, and performances by Dholrhythms Dance Company with live drumming.
“Over the years, we have had the opportunity to perform at the Stern Grove Festival and the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, as well as at events in Los Angeles and in British Columbia,” Virk said.
“The musical style is centered around the mixing of traditional Bhangra songs with a vast array of dance floor sounds,” Virk said. “Jimmy lays a musical foundation for live Dhol drums to play over, as well as a live vocalist to raise the energy level. The influences range from deeply traditional classic Bhangra tunes to edits of classic tracks” drawing on reggae, hip-hop and house music.
“The blend and vision of the group’s musical style is to bring this sound, which is typically only found in the Punjabi community, and open up a dialog between this music and the greater musical community at large … and to make as many people dance as possible!” Virk concluded.
The Quad will open for picnics at 6:30 p.m. (alcoholic beverages are prohibited). The warm evening air as the sun sets should provide a good environment for members of the audience who want to try the Bhangra dance steps themselves. Members of the public are invited to bike, walk or car-pool to the event to reduce traffic congestion. The July concert in the SummerMusic series drew an audience of well over 1,000 people.
Saturday’s free event is part of a series of events focusing on the culture of India during the upcoming Mondavi Center season. On March 22, tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain returns for a concert, and on April 17, sitarist Anoushka Shankar will come to Mondavi for another engagement.
The Mondavi Center also will screen several Indian films: “Salaam Bombay” (Nov. 14), “Pink Saris” (Nov. 15) and “Udaan” (Nov. 15).
— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055.