AEG at Alvin Ailey with Masala Bhangra

campy614

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A little further information, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is a, if not THE, leading institution in American dance. It's been national recognized millions of times, and was named "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world" by Congress.

If memory serves me correctly, it was started in the late 50s/early 60s by Alvin Ailey, himself. They've performed in like 95% of the states, and 60-70 countries. Ailey originally created this theater to combine and celebrate the African-American cultural experience with modern American dance.

Only reason why I know this is because Fordham University Lincoln Center campus linked it's BFA degree with the theater, and one of my good friends transferred from the Bronx campus to the Lincoln Center campus just so she can do the program.

So teaching a class like this is an honor, and I'm proud of you guys. Good luck!!
 

vaibhav

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This seems like an awesome idea to get bhangra out to the masses! I think there used to be quite a few posts/threads about sarina jain and her not being able to portray the dance properly. I guess my take on it is that she is doing what she loves to do (bhangra) just like the many of us here on BTF, so i guess it's not that big of a deal that she might not dance the same way that competitive teams dance. Anyways, hope the class goes really well AEG!
 

voxanimus

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Ashveer said:
I'm very interested to see what the BTF community thinks about this. As in ASAP.

unpopular opinion:


while i haven't seen the threads roasting sarina on here personally, i don't doubt that they exist; what she does is exactly the stuff that is, as i remember kinnell saying once, as a bastardization of bhangra. i appreciate that she's been pretty insanely successful in spreading awareness about indian dance, but i'm going to leave her contributions at just that. she hasn't, and still doesn't, promote bhangra, except nominally. i'm not sure who first reached out, sarina or AEG, but from her side of the table, this is an extremely wise move; it's probably the best way she can silence her "real bhangra" critics. plus, she was pretty much guaranteed AEG's acceptance--a chance to collaborate with someone of her prominence and perform at the level to which she can bring them probably won't come to AEG again.


that being said, i don't begrudge AEG the publicity that this is going to net them. one way or another, they're getting their name out, and there are few teams i'd rather see achieve prominence outside the circuit/indian community.
 

ban3rg

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Wow wasn't at all expecting that reaction from either side, haha definitely wasnt expecting such a quick compromise! It seems like all the previous objections have been swallowed up into "well, technically, no one is doing the 50s Bhangra anymore hence we are all modern hence Sarina and AEG are Bff's."

What happened to the spectrum of like, Live teams in india on one end (still recognizable as having 50s influence) and Sarina the other extreme (standing at the other end of the spectrum with the likes of ranj infam and Nakul majahan and so on)?

Clearly partnering with her has many advantages (her fan base, reach within the media etc) like voxanimus stated above, but I hope this "pardon" so to speak was just a ploy to bring her to our side haha. It just seems like there was such vehement opposition to her before and now suddenly we all good.
 

voxanimus

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Arjun said:
Very well said, you are a gifted post writer!

hahah thanks man; i try.


but yeah i totally agree with what you said in your second post; sarina's partnership with AEG sort of vanished away all the crap i bet she used to get before. i think partnering with something as accepted and legitimate as AEG would ostensibly legitimize sarina by association. i don't expect AEG to badmouth sarina or get on a high horse; if i was an aspiring actor, i'd accept hands down a chance to star in a twilight movie.


BTF's newfound acceptance probably has more to do with a fear of being shat on for disagreeing with a popular team.
 

campy614

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666
I'm still really excited about this!!!

I was talking to Aman about this last night-I don't know if anyone knows just how big of a deal this is. Scrap the Sarina Jain part for a second-you have a nationally recognized American dance theater asking AEG to teach a class. Two things are happening: 1) the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is accepting, for lack of a better word, "real" bhangra into American society, and 2) they are recognizing AEG as a leading figure in American bhangra. I wouldn't go so far to say "authoritative", but leading would be a good word. In the dance world, this is a huge deal and a huge honor!!

Let's bring back in Sarina Jain for a second. There's a difference between the theater accepting Sarina Jain and them accepting AEG. They accepted Sarina Jain because she created something new-a fitness program with a bhangra undertone. That undertone led her to becoming somewhat of an authoritative figure in fitness, not bhangra. (PS As she's sitting on her millions, I'm pretty sure the last thing she cares about is the crap she got before on some random forum that she probably never reads). Again, the theater is accepting AEG as a leading figure in American bhangra. Combine them both and you really have an interesting combination.

It's the type of opportunity that most knowledgeable dancers in America would kill for (me included). The theater is making a huge statement by doing this. My only hope is that you guys don't take this lightly. I don't think I can stress enough just how much of a big thing this is.
 

Saab

Today is a gift
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991
I think Sarina pinpointed where a large amount of criticism was coming from and formed a partnership to quash the dissidence before it spread. It is a wise move, and I think AEG represents a brand that is healthy for the Bhangra community: An entertaining routine with a very classical foundation. I think she felt that this would filter back to the community, and the competitive dance circuit at large.

You have to think that someone here, if they so chose, could have created something to rival Sarina Jain on the basis it would be "traditional" and more "culturally" true. Non-desis and Desis alike dig the concept that they are obtaining some culture, as well as that they have a cultural awareness that exceeds that of their friends. Although it would stress less on the workout notion, its noire to learn a classical/traditional form of the dance. This counteracts people doing some start up of their own and shows her attempt to corner the indian dance/fitness market.

This still doesn't change the fact that I think that Sarina Jain doesn't promote Bhangra, but a derivative(therein lies the Masala Bhangra tag). It remains to be seen if she actually implements what she has learnt from AEG into what she does. Right now, with nothing more coming out, this is just pandering to me. Sure its great that she reached out, but I think shes trying to prove that she knows more about the dance with this interview, and thats not why we all threw a hissy-fit over her in the first place.

This move was actually way more beneficial to AEG in the sense that if they continue being more than a team(and Im speculating that they are due to this video), this ties in a more broad name to the brand. Its cool, but teaching a class at a respectable dancing institution is the biggest thing to take away from the original post.
 
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Sarina Jain + a goat for elite 8 damm yall are going fulll out on this one ? whats next a girl riding a goat onto stage doing masala bhangra ?
 

KingGeorge

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Deepi253 said:
Sarina Jain + a goat for elite 8 damm yall are going fulll out on this one ? whats next a girl riding a goat onto stage doing masala bhangra ?
get your tickets asap :)
 
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