Championships of Bhangra Placings & Reviews

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Carolina Indian Arts is pleased to announce the Championships of Bhangra 2019 placings!
  • Champions- Bhangra All-Stars Sydney (BASS)
  • 2nd Place- First Class Bhangra (FCB)
  • 3rd Place- Furteelay
  • Kids Choice Award (Voted on by our CIA students)- First Class Bhangra
  • Best Mix- Furteelay @Gsimz
  • Best Female Dancer- Priyanka Ram @priyanka.ram1997
  • Best Male Dancer- Saagar Menon @saagarm
Congratulations to all of our teams on their amazing performances. We hope all who attended loved the Championships experience! Thank you to Harjot Hundal of GTV for getting great footage throughout the weekend and for setting up a live stream for those who couldn't attend the show. We can't wait to see the videos!

We encourage anyone who attended Championships to review us so that we can plan ways to make the experience better in the future. Teams will also be receiving feedback forms directly.

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sdadoo15

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
267
I said this in the Blowout thread, and I'm going to say it again. It is amazing what you can do when your entire board has dance experience (preferably bhangra experience but obviously that isn't always feasible). I wasn't a captain so I can't speak on all the pre-comp or judging stuff, but the weekend overall was extremely well-run and probably one of the best competitions I have ever attended. Props to Kuntal, Iffy, Sumeet, and the rest of CIA and Champs Board for throwing such an amazing comp. Any dancer in attendance could tell you they thought about every detail from start to finish.

Hotel: very, very nice hotel and our rooms were decorated with gear and lots of snacks which was nice. Only downside of this was that it wasn't a very ideal location with regards to the venue (was about a 15-minute car ride).

Mixer: DOPE venue. If it wasn't pouring rain, there was an outside patio area that would've been awesome to hang around in. There was self-serve Indian food, don't need to say much more about that. Mixer overall was very smooth as well, and the games they chose were fun and engaging. I personally wasn't a fan of the way they did lineup, and prefer just normal double-blind methods for randomization sake. They had this system where the winners of the games chose a random lineup spot first, and if they liked their spot they could keep it. If they didn't like it, they could pick one more time but they would have to keep that spot. It made it intense, but again I think random spots are just easier and fairest. Props for thinking outside of the box on this though.

Post-mixer practice: They had spots directly at the venue for some teams, and elsewhere for others. I think they had it where teams got the spot based on show order, so the teams with earlier tech times got to practice first, which was nice. The spot itself was alright, but any spot is better than none so no complaints there.

**I didn't really know where to put this but Kuntal (one of the directors) sat down with each team and went over their lighting cues specifically, since he was the one running the lights during the show. I thought this was really cool because it allowed teams to tell him what exactly they wanted, and since he obviously knows a lot about bhangra sets he could make those requests happen flawlessly.

Venue: Very interesting and atypical venue for a bhangra competition. It was in an arena and they set the stage up on the floor and put curtains around it and a backdrop in the back. The audience sat in line with the stage and extended pretty high upwards, which was nice as a dancer because it forced you to look up. Also nice for the audience cause you could see formations really well. However, I am not sure I liked the venue compared to a normal performing arts center (not sure if this was the top choice or a last resort). We didn't have a great space at the venue to get ready, as only some of the teams got rooms to get ready in, so we had to get ready in a pretty poorly-ventilated hallway under the stage. The stage itself was a little hard on the knees, but nothing terrible.

One of the issues with the venue was that it had a lot of windows, and since the show started when it was still light out, no one really had the option for blackouts or major lighting effects. Further, I wasn't able to watch but from what I heard, some of the earlier teams had to perform as the sun was setting, and it was shining into the venue, whereas later teams didn't have this issue. It doesn't seem like a big deal but from what I heard the venue got pretty humid during the earlier teams. Again, not sure if this venue was first choice or last resort, but a normal performing arts center may have been a better move.

Afterparty: They hosted it in the ballroom of the hotel which was awesome since we were right there. Overall, it was a pretty solid afterparty except the ballroom was split between under and over 21, and the over section ended up being full while the under section was completely empty. I'm sure they had their reasoning for it, and at the end of the day I would take this over clubs where you may or may not get in.

Judges: Again, I can't speak about the pre-comp or post-comp meetings, but I thought it was really cool how they had three levels of judges (lower, middle, upper). Each judge had a rubric specific to where they were sitting, and it allowed them as a panel to assess every detail of the performances. I've always been a fan of setups like this and hope more competitions try to emulate this if possible.

Liaisons: Our liaisons were phenomenal. All the liaisons either had some prior dance experience or went through some intense training, because it really showed that they all knew exactly what was up and what they were supposed to be doing. I felt like they were there anytime I had questions, and they were constantly asking if we needed anything and offering to help. Definitely the best liaison group as a whole that I have experienced.

Overall, extremely well-run weekend. It is hard to describe, but it was very obvious that every committee member had the teams' best interests at heart. Anytime I passed a committee member, they were always asking if we needed anything and it made dancing significantly easier. I really really hope (and urge) that more teams buy into this system and work to get a spot in the lineup because this could definitely turn into something special. Huge S/O again to the committee.

I do suggest that Champs try to change their point system slightly, however. It seems that currently, attending more smaller competitions and winning is an easier way to gain points than winning one large competition. The original lineup, in my opinion, wasn't a true championship lineup (compared to Elite 8 for example) and it seemed that a lot of the wild card teams were stronger teams (most were wild card since they only competed once). I think the current system, with some minor amends, would work well for this circuit, just to better cater to teams that either can't afford, or simply don't, compete as often. After all, there is nothing wrong with competing once a year if you put your all into that one performance.
 

UmerQureshi96

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
85
I've been to quite a few comps and I gotta give it up to @Carolina Indian Arts for throwing an absolute dope comp their first year at it. From beginning to end easily shows this is a comp run by Bhangra dancers that understand what bhangra teams need.

Before the Comp: I can only really talk about FCBs experience and I'm gonna assume our experience was a bit better in terms of clarity and everything just because we clinched a spot much earlier and we had more time to pester Kuntal with a shit ton of questions and shit. That being said, Kuntal was always there to answer literally any question we had and was always up front with us. I will say I wish the judges and rubric was released earlier. Also, pre-comp judges meeting is kinda whatever unless everyone is talking, but it wasn't any better or worse than any other pre-comp judges meetings. But overall communication between board and FCB was fantastic heading into the comp. They were super flexible and accommodating on deadlines and not threatening to take off points/dock tech time or stupid shit other comps do.

Mixer/Post Mixer: Self served food rather than a board member spooning three pieces of paneer onto my plate was nice. Water bottles were everywhere. Wasn't a fan of the formal, peeps are driving a long time/flying in I don't wanna dress formally before I practice after the mixer. I also wish there was more time post mixer. Obviously venue wasn't the best but it was functional for 8 teams practicing. After the mixer each team was given an hour and then if teams needed more time we could go onto the empty levels of the parking deck. Parking deck worked and but it would have been nice to have more time in the initial practice space. But overall, mixer was SHORT. Idk about other teams, but I hate it when mixers drag on forever with a shit ton of pointless games. They kept it short and to the point so even after practicing and all that I was in bed by midnight. Oh and what was honestly super dope by Kuntal is that he sat down with us and walked through our performance to completely understand the vision of our set and know exactly what time we wanted our lighting cues. During the end we wanted to strobe for 8 beats of jadoo singha before the drop and we showed him the choreo before the drop and because he's a bhangra dancer he understood exactly that and during our performance was able to time every single lighting cue perfectly. We didn't have to worry about tech crew understanding because Kuntal was with them cueing the lighting crew for every single effect.

Venue/Show: Venue had a lotta pros and cons. Stage itself was cool, nice and big. However I do wish it was a bit more raised so that the front row wasn't looking down at us. Lighting for this comp was crazy awesome, honestly no comp in north america has a better lighting rig and set up than champs. Hands down. It did kinda suck for teams in the first half because the venue was open to the sunlight that lighting wasn't really seen. But dang second half teams lucked out cuz damn their lighting looked crazy. SDS with their pink lights during jhoomer looked amazing. I do wish there was a better place to get ready, the humidity was crazy underneath where we were getting ready and our paghs were dying. Tech time was great no issues there. After tech time, we were given our tech time vid, but we could only watch them in this tiny ass room so we just left with the vids we took and decided to not use the vid they gave us. Show was great, ran super smooth and was amazingly done super early. I'm pretty sure I was in the judges meeting at the hotel at like 10 pm, I think the awards were given out at like 9:30. I had enough time to chill, shower, get food, hang with my team and get to the AP within a reasonable hour.

AP: Yo pls every comp. Have your AP in the hotel if possible. So damn convenient. Sucked for anyone under 21, but I think that was more of a NC legal thing than something the comp could control.

Judges: I was kinda sus about the split judging levels, but it turned out fine. I don't really have any complaints about the judging, everyone was able to make their point and explain everything.

Liaisons: Sahil danced with us and hit it on the head. Liaisons were dope. Did everything we asked, made runs out to Michael's, all the shits. Couldn't ask for anything better. Liaisons that actually have dance experience rather than some rando peeps is always awesome.

Overall this comp was amazingly well run, easily top 3 if not the best comp I've been to and this is only it's first year. It will def learn from its mistakes and be even better next year. Again huge shoutout to Kuntal, CIA, and the rest of the board y'all threw an incredible damn comp. If y'all ever get a chance to come to champs. Do it. You won't regret it.
 

Ashley

Member
Staff member
Messages
29
Duniya De Rang performed as exhibition for Championships of Bhangra. As a long-distance team who only ever see each other for seemingly high stakes-sleepless weekends, the opportunity to come together for a World class Bhangra competition without the stress of competing appealed to us.

Our purpose for the weekend was to focus on team bonding and to enjoy a phenomenal show. We relayed the intention of our visit to Kuntal and the board. They understood and were extremely accommodating and forgiving of our absence at some major events (i.e. Mixer and not staying at the hotel)


Weekend in a nut shell:

Pre- comp: Our correspondence was specifically with Kuntal. He answered all our questions right away. He was flexible and great to iron out details with. Once we were assigned liaisons, Monal and Aanchal they were attentive and proactive. They immediately helped us to book practice space and coordinate our entire stay.

Arrival on Thursday: Most of us arrived on Thursday and were picked up by our liaisons and some board members. We were transported to our practice space on Campus. Our liaisons made sure we had everything we needed and made themselves available for us even though they also had busy week day schedules. Monal even left his car with us for the night so that we could get to dinner and the Airbnb all without an uber. Nikhil Batra left the keys to his family business with us so that we may have practice space at any time.

Friday: Team bonding stuff, practice, amazingly helpful liaisons and responsive board.

Saturday: We had the latest tech time. We were given 25 minutes on stage, a viewing and then a space to practice after. We decided to only use our viewing spot for 5-10 mins and skip out on the practice spot. We were provided a nice big space to get ready in. It had bathrooms, mirrors and even showers. We got ready, Aanchal picked up Chipotle for us, we performed then watched a literally and figuratively lit show. After party details are below.



Pros:

Communication:

This is a huge factor in comp any comp experience. From the beginning we received excellent communication. Anytime we had a question it would never go unanswered. Board members were very attentive to the team GroupMe and would jump in all the time. Even though we did not stay at the hotel and were relatively absent from activities, they were constantly checking in on us to make sure that we were all good. Even on Saturday, pre-show when everyone was busy, our team requested help with paghs in the groupme – our request was not overlooked, Nikhil responded letting us know that Jaggy Sangha would help us out.

Positive and relaxed vibe:

At no time did we ever feel rushed or were met with an anxious board member. Everyone was mature and calm which amounted to us having a super low stress experience. Even though we were first to get on stage, our liaisons and the board members spoke to us kindly and calmly asking if we need more time- there was no rushing, hurrying or panic mode going on. I believe this stemmed from the fact that almost everyone involved had experience in competitive bhangra and knew the perspective of dancers. (A+ decision)

Actual Show:


Everything felt smooth, relaxed and positive. We loved that every team came down from the stadium isles with their hype song. It helped the audience feel more engaged with the team as they could literally pat them on the back before they stepped foot on stage. DDR didn’t wait on stage during deliberation (besides Jordan who went up to sing) but from an audience perspective it did not feel like a long time and it was an enjoyable wait viewing the teams interact. - We loved that CIA performed, super cute.

Venue:

At first, the venue wasn’t exactly what we expected but it grew on us during the performances. The closeness to the stage as well as the level of the stage/seats and openness of the arena made it feel as if we were all performing for each other rather than just to an audience, reminding us that we are all doing this for each other and that we are all connected and passionate about the same thing. Being able to get on/near side/front stage during other teams' performances and the award show just made it seem very inclusive and inviting. If that's the vibe they're going for, they nailed it. But compared to something like Bruin, where it's a huge, beautiful, traditional venue, it doesn't quite feel as important. Once the sun went down the lighting cues were phenomenal.


After party:

Great choice in having Teg Hans DJ, he was fire as usual. It was very convenient that the AP was hosted at the hotel. It reduced wasted time that would’ve been spent commuting and waiting in a line. It’s probably much safer environment too. Having the room separated into two sections for under 21 kids was a bummer, but we understand there is not much that can be done due to the laws. We think Champs made the best of the situation and we didn’t mind staying with our friends on the underage side. We loved that the party went on till 3am. They provided a slew of water stations at the after party. All the stations were constantly restocked – our team was super impressed by this. It was a safe and fun environment. (A++)



Thoughts to consider for the future:


Side stage privacy: Not having a backstage area / side curtain not connecting fully around was at times distracting from the performances.

Lighting: The venue let lots of sun shine in which impacted lighting cues for earlier performances. DDR went first, and our lighting cues and intro video were barely visible. As a non-competing team this wasn’t a big deal to us, but it could potentially reduce impact of a team who went earlier than later in evening.

Location: DDCON and Bollywood Legends/America choose cities based on affordability and accessibility (usually major airport hub cities), and they always get the teams they invite. I believe the last qualifying comp was NDC, which was just 2 weeks before this, and 2 weeks is a really short time for a team to get accepted and get expensive tickets to come. I know it's easier to host in your home city, but if the fusion circuit can find a way to host events in cities they don't live in, COB can find a way.

Venue: A nice air-conditioned auditorium would be more comfortable to the dancers and better for acoustics.


Overall:

Even though we were just exhibition, we were taken care of as though we were competing. I believe that is very telling about the integrity of this board. Championships of Bhangra proved that they respected every team and each dancer. They know what they are doing and know how to take care of people. Tremendous kudos on their ability to act professionally and respectfully while also being extremely agile and flexible - not to forget to mention always available. Our experience at Championships of Bhangra will be hard to beat and the mems will last a lifetime.



Thank list:

Kuntal, Nikhil and all of board, thank you for this incredible experience.

Our excellent Liaisons: Monal Depani and Aanchal Mujral

Our newest and wonderful additions to DDR Sai Krishnakalla and Bashier Baten, thank you for becoming a part of our family.

Teg Hans thank you for adjusting our Buckeye Mela mix and always coming through for us.

UNC- Thank you for making us look good in your vardi

Jaggy Sahga – Thank you for helping us out with our Paghs.

Thank you Anisha, Tejasee and Kavin Sanghavi for being superb groupies.

Spartan/ Capital – Thank you for the use of stage markers.

All the best,

Duniya De Rang
 
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