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Surrey’s Royal Academy of Bhangra returns with annual Punjabi folk dances competition

Two events Dec. 18 at Bell Performing Arts Centre, one in afternoon and another in evening
Royal Academy of Bhangra performers at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre in 2017. (Photo:

Surrey’s Royal Academy of Bhangra returns to Bell Performing Arts Centre for the organization’s annual Punjabi Folk Dances Competition.

Two showcases are planned at the Sullivan-area theatre on Saturday, Dec. 18, one starting at noon, another at 6 p.m.

The event is billed as “a colourful and exciting journey of exploration between the Persian and Punjabi culture through poetry, storytelling, music, and dance,” according to a post on the theatre website (

“Together we celebrate the words and beats that make our hearts sing and souls dance. Come with us, as we travel from the mystical Persia to vibrant Punjab In partnership with Hossien and Fame Art Group.”

For tickets ($25), call 604-507-6355 or visit the Bell website. An all-day pass for both shows is $30.

Located on 82 Avenue in Newton, Royal Academy of Bhangra is billed the first Canadian non-for-profit to offer formal Punjabi folk dance education.

“In 2012, a group of dedicated arts and bhangra enthusiasts came together to create a professional bhangra organization that would not only raise the platform of Punjabi folk arts through quality programming and events, but collaborate with the wider community to create awareness and opportunities for fusion, exploration and connection,” says a post on

The academy’s dance director, Hardeep Singh Sahota, was key in the development of the bhangra syllabus program for dance teachers in B.C. and also Canada.

Also booked at the Bell theatre is Back 2 Live, on Sunday, Dec. 19. “With our goal of preserving Punjabi culture and heritage, Shan-E-Punjab (brings audiences) a live concert featuring local talent,” says a post on the theatre website. Seats in the first few rows of the auditorium are priced at $100, and all of them are sold.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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