I am very happy to be a part of blowout this year - but I am also sad to see the absence of another North Carolina team, namely one that was the only collegiate team to place at Burgh this year (UNC in case the reference wasn't obvious). I am sure Blowout committee has its reasons for making the selections they did, but I would have personally enjoyed seeing and competing against ALL the best collegiate teams in the country.
when you watch a set and wonder "if this placed first or second, would anyone have complained?" - then there is probably some concern. can't obviously speak for the rubric/judging but you guys executed amazingly well as a team as always. i personally would be curious to see what a set with less variations would look like now from you guys (kinda like your vpd/bayside sets from 2012, i think those are my favs) but you guys think of some cool stuff.
saw this on youtube a couple days ago when it got posted and was really really impressed. like i wrote on cmu's video, coed teams shy away from powerful/fast choreo these days but you guys showcased it very well and kept it hype throughout. great stuff.
very few co-ed teams have the ability to perform a set so full of energy and hype - thank you for continuing to be one of the few teams on the circuit that does this and hasn't reverted to the "ballet bhangra" that has plagued the circuit, especially the coed teams.
formations were really good and engaging - the changes you made from burgh to here were very nice additions to set.
sid/shubhit you guys make a boss jodi, both of your amazing dharis plus being big guys in general gives you awesome presence on stage. you keep up great energy in the entire set and it looks like you are leading the team really well.
shreepal is probably one of the most explosive dancers ive seen - i feel like not many people can pull off the air time he gets on bethke and such whilst staying on beat, but he somehow is still dancing clean at the same time.
ankur you killed your solo and energetic as always
i think in terms of things you guys could make better:
emphasize your pink jodis flip into the saap segment - if this was a semi-last minute add i understand changing mix up a tiny bit just to showcase it would be tough, but for next time. it looks like the lighting kept them slightly in the dark too unfortunately.
i think few coed teams can do powerful jhummar choreo as well as you guys - perhaps the "lovey" part of your jhummar can be "bouncier" or "poppier" and not as flowy just because i think it will set you guys further apart. twirling the girl and all that look nice but i think you guys can incorporate it in a way and with some creativity that will make that segment stick out more for you, it seemed a little more generic than alot of the other segments in your set
id get rid of the criss cross legs in saaps and the between the legs claps at end - though tons of teams have done these move variations now, i still think you guys can come up with stuff that doesn't even look slightly derivative. it would be simple fixes that would just multiply your authenticity.
oh your khundey breakdown with tejas walking down the center looked sick as hell. like you need to find a solid picture of that because it looked amazing. tejas looked epic.
I feel like the bhangra scene is in a really weird place. While it is flourishing in the UK and AUS it is dying regionally in North America.
With some regions still strong, i.e., toronto, B.C. Other places like California (which traditionally has been the strongest center of bhangra in the USA) are in decline. The DC metro/va area, traditionally a hub of bhangra activity is in the grave yard. There has just been a real lack of discourse and critique in the past three years. Teams have started to become more choosey with their competitions, focusing on doing 2-3 a year maximum. Elite teams of yesteryear have retired, see: sgpd, abc, bk, jj, nypd, and aeg. We have like a total of 2-3 strong all girls teams. The co-ed scene is dead and the number of elite all-guys teams has been cut in half.
We just keep getting these clean, cookie-cutter sets. It's like bhangra is finally at a higher standard with a there being a lot of good teams, but very few great ones. What's accepted as an elite team today wouldn't even scratch the top 10 a few years back. Not sure what the problem is, but if we want to keep seeing legendary sets, something has to change.
North American Bhangra has been in a crisis for sometime now, and no one seems to care or notice. This is worrisome.
if cookie cutter sets keep placing, thats unfortunately what people are going to do. there are teams out there that have the work ethic and talent to put on some crazy ass performances with some risky ideas, but they step back and think "well if we just do a moderately fast saap segment, throw in a few khunda spins, put one jodi in the front of jhummar who is doing it more ballet like/lovey, do jugni to a hip hop beat, and end with lots of jumps and bethke where are arms scrape the ground, then we are almost guaranteed to place as long as we are clean".
judges in the last few years have rewarded teams for doing this as opposed to doing cool stuff - hence the shift towards it.
it is good to see unc returning to the caliber of its glory days - kuntal told me before you guys started that "yo unc is back" but i was like "blah blah kuntal ta avain bolda rehnda" and then a few seconds into your performance it was evident that what he said was true
i would like to specifically call out abhay qureshi in the red for handling his ace bandage malfunction like a boss, despite competing at his first competition at BAB just a couple months ago - and looking particularly sexy on stage.
mad props to the captains yeshel, rani, and pooja (i think you three are the captains?) for bringing your team to this level, and along with radhika and abhay, doing really well on stage.
the newer dancers did not dance like new dancers - once you guys get everyone to maintain their posture a bit stronger and add a smudge of more modhey and chest into your steps your team is going to look next level.
maybe ill try and break a few knees and try and slip into your dancer's lineup for the next comp
you guys have some strong dancers - starting off with jhummar was creative and well done. i was feeling the absence of a khundey segment (i know there is no rule written anywhere that you have to use khundey or saaps or katos etc, but i think you guys could have benefited from having a solid one). jhummar gimmick was nicely upgraded from boston.
i think you had too gimmicky of a set for the type of judges we had at this competition - the apple was funny but i think it ended up distracting from the dancing and power of ending segment.
those crazy glow in the dark things you started off mela with were awesome to see live, whwatever weapons from the future those are - but again, i think the delay in the mela starting made it somewhat anticlimactic, and then you ended set with not everyone on stage.
starting the set off with the one by one glow in the dark things would be pretty hot - i think this set would be perfect for boston with some "tightening" of some dancer's legs and arms (a little more controlled just so you guys look cleaner)
but honestly regardless of whether some teammates may be your friends or there from the beginning etc etc, some people are just flake-ers by nature. its also something more prevalent on teams that dont have a ton of options for other dancers, ive had friends come late to practice and i tell they are wasting other people's valuable time and they have simple said "fine then cut me" - so on teams that are attempting to establish themselves, where dancers might not feel like they are part of something big or feel like they are at risk for losing their spot, you have to be prepared for it
bhangra was very good and i really liked the choreo - but i dont expect to see walking and laziness from a top tier team like this. obviously they have been trained very well but i think the reason people may not be giving this as much credit as it deserves is simply ebcause we all hold nj to a very high standard
Not to jump down your throat, but NJ ALWAYS has people that walk through sets. See Elite 8 2010, 2011, Tdot 2011, Jashan 2012, and even this past BBC set. It's usually because the set difficulty level is always so high. I know what you're saying here, but people are just finding reasons to hate on this for some reason.