The enticing beat, movement and unique sound of bhangra hold a special place in many of our hearts. And now it’s being celebrated in the creation of the world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements from this beautiful art form.
The photographs are available to view online in a virtual exhibition by
To achieve the ‘light painting’ effect, dancers from a number of different disciplines – including Irish dancing and breakdancing as well as bhangra – performed key moves whilst holding coloured lights in semi-darkness, so that every nuance of their actions can be traced using long exposure photography.
Captured in the evening at the Park and other locations across Yorkshire, the result is a series of atmospheric images that give physical, even sculptural, form to the fleeting nature of the dance. The flowing movements translate into bright, almost calligraphic strokes.
Interestingly, ‘light painting’ usually doesn’t reveal the person performing the action; in this case, Sahota wanted the performers to be seen, showing their costumes and cultural identities – something he says play an equally important role in the project. To see more, visit