Eastern Exposure: Rhythms of India

Thanks to an influx of Washington's East Indian population, Seattle is becoming a hotbed of Eastern

Category: seattlepi.com teaser headlines

 

Thanks to an influx of Washington's East Indian population, Seattle is becoming a hotbed of Eastern arts. As Indian expats share the dance, theater, film, music and literature traditions of their native country, our city reaps the rich cultural benefits

Rhythms of India {Dance School}

Whether you’re a stressed-out Microsoftie whose muscles perpetually send error messages to your brain, a classically trained Indian dancer, a mom interested in exploring Indian culture or just someone who wants to get exercise while fantasizing about being a Bollywood star, Rhythms of India (rhythmsofindia.net) has a class for you. The 7-year-old Indian dance school offers classes in Bollywood, Bhangra, Giddha, Filmi and semi-classical dances, in addition to its patented “Bhangracize,” in studios in Seattle and on the Eastside (including on the Microsoft campus, where proprietor and teacher Shub-Chintan Gill teaches twice a week).

“When I moved to Seattle nine years ago,” says Gill, who was born in India but came here from Vancouver, British Columbia, “there were no suitable dance activities for women and children, from an Indian point of view. People were teaching from their garages and living rooms, but there was no school. I saw the need to express the sheer art of dance.”

Bhangra, traditionally a men’s harvest dance, uses dance moves to mimic the tilling of the soil. It is traditionally accompanied by the dhol, a two-sided drum (though Gill is quick to add that it’s hard to find dhol players in Seattle); the algoza, a traditional two-piped flute; the chimta, a tambourine-like instrument; and vocals and clapping.

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