On January 25 2002, our "Noor-e-Punjab" team competed against 9 other teams at the Bhangra Fusion Competition in Detroit. With it's characteristic traditional style and notorious vigorous precision, the team beat 7 out of the 10 teams and was awarded third place. This was only the third time our team has competed, and the second time it has won a prize. This year's team was unique in that it was composed of dancers from MIT, Harvard, BU, and Tufts, who all collaborated to produce a dance that engaged and entranced the audience. All of the dancers dedicated much of their time and energy into preparing the dance, which believe it or not, was put together in less than 3 weeks!
In preparing the choreography, the team decided to try something
new: they wanted the dance to portray a story. Putting their heads
together, they came up with the idea of a bhangra based on a Mela (festival), at
which a boy falls in love with a girl. However, the girl wants no part
of this love story, causing the Jatt to drown his sorrow in
sharab (alcohol) (see a translation of one of the songs). Featuring a fight scene and a
jaw-dropping sword sequence, the story climaxes at the end of the
dance, with the drunken Jatt professing his ever-lasting love for his
beloved. The team had the audience at the edge of its seat, yearning
to learn how the story would conclude.
|Top Row: Shaunik Panse, Rasika Kumar,
Ami Vora, Priya Shah, Rizwan Dhanidina, Ravi Dixit, Navroop Pal Singh
Bottom Row: Niyati Gandhi, Bhumika Patel, Amit Goyal, Vidushi Gupta, Chetak Reshamwala
Team Captain: Rizwan Dhanidina
The members of this years team would like to express their gratitude to Sumer Johal, Radhika Nagpal, and Sunil Vemuri for teaching us the grace and style that makes bhangra the beautiful dance that it is, as well as for their words of encouragment and advice while preparing for the competition. Special thanks to Radhika's family for letting the entire team stay at their house while in Detroit.