Dalbar Singh

About Dalbar Singh

Dalbar Singh is a Sikh scholar and music activist, who performs MalwaiGiddha- a very old folk dance of Punjab.Dalbar Singh group, as per tradition of that genre, constitutes of men only. They simultaneously sing, jump, dance and play indigenous instruments to celebrate festive occasions. Dancers play various instruments while balancing them in such a manner to be able to dance while carrying it. MalwaiGiddha is usually performed when the groom returns home with the bride and it is an informal collective celebration rather than a performance. The themes revolve around romance and relationships with family and friends thereby giving the performance its tease and enthusiastic raptures, accompanied by the furious beating of the drum called Dholki.

This indigenous Punjabi dance begins where a lead vocalist sings a few lines addressing the others and builds up the emotional tempo to a point where the backing vocalists join him. This is when the instruments are played as well and all dance to the rhythm, until once again the lead vocalist sings and is encouraged in his solo performance with joyous shouts from the other participants. There are many cycles of singing and collective dancing in one performance.A detuned Algoza (a local woodwind instrument) continually produces the same notes and melody provides appropriate background for the vocals. However, the dance itself is totally freestyle.

Dalbar Singh, from his early years, was fascinated with MalwaiGiddha dance and decided to devote his life to study, perform and preserve this vanishing part of Punjabi culture. He wrote series of books and articles and was awarded for his achievements by Punjabi University.Dalbar Singh proves wrong the ongoing loss of the culture of collective celebration nowadays by making his performances so engaging, integrating and wild, that one easily finds himself dancing among colorful turbans and checks printed lungis (Indian skirt-like man garment).