Simu Liu showed off his bhangra moves while dancing to Tesher’s “Jalebi Baby” at the 51st Juno Awards on Sunday.
Following a three-year hiatus of in-person celebrating, the Juno Awards returned this past weekend with audience members crowding outside the Budweiser Stage in Toronto as they awaited an exciting lineup of award recipients.
Chinese Canadian host and Marvel star Simu Liu opened the evening with his powerful “I am Canadian” speech before artists such as Arcade Fire, Avril Lavigne and even Liu himself performed. Yet, the historical night would not have been complete without an unexpected stage takeover by Liu and Indian Canadian singer-rapper Tesher as the two stunned fans with a Punjabi-style bhangra dance sequence.
With roots in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, bhangra is a rural folk dance traditionally performed at harvest festivals. As Liu and Tesher cruised the stage with spins, body rolls and arm swings, the audience joined the duo as they belted out the lyrics to the hit song.
The excitement even went beyond the stage. Liu and Tesher’s performance captured the hearts of several South Asian fans, inciting discussions on social media about how Canadian the whole performance was.
Since its release on Nov. 13, 2020, “Jalebi Baby” and its subsequent remix featuring Jason Derulo have taken TikTok by storm, inspiring new choreography and dance challenges.
“Now that’s how we celebrate Asian Heritage Month,” Liu said at the end of the performance.