Bhangra Circuit Critiques

gtclair

New Member
Messages
6
Make a set using markers! After a couple of runthrus, hit the set without markers. By then everyone should know their spot! Thats what we recently did for warrior! Dancing without markers prevents dancers from looking down at the orange cones, allowing them to look more at the crowd (aka better nakhra) :p lol
 

SGupta7

Member
Messages
109
Hardeep, I agree with a lot of your points but there were three things I wanted to add:


Regarding markers, I know when I do the routine I rarely look at markers on the stage. I think most experienced dancers who have run the set enough don't need to, but that doesn't mean it's not comforting to know that they are there in case I fuck up and need to re-align myself. IMO, no one should be penalized for using markers, but not using them should potentially factor into judges deliberation.


Secondly, you talked about nakhra and passion for dancing. Passion for dancing is not something that one person can teach to another. Therefore, if one person wants to smile/look angry/flirt/etc. that should be up to them as a dancer because that might be how they perceive that move/segment/whatever.


Lastly, about extra dancers. I think it's silly to assume that a team is bringing out extra dancers to hide weakness at the end of a set. There are tons of reasons to bring out extra dancers, and i've never ever felt that a team was using them as a distraction. Rather, I see it as a chance to showcase dancers who can bring extra talent to the stage, who may have been unable to perform the whole routine for a variety of reasons.


Overall, I think you made a lot of good points though and the discussion thread has been fun to read
 

MotorCityBhangra

New Member
Messages
153
After reading this excellent post by Hardeep and skimming through a few comments that were made after that I feel like the whole point of the post kinda got lost throughout this whole discussion. Correct me if I am wrong but i feel like this post was more intended towards what Bhangra is now a days and what people's compaints are towards that. Atleast what I got out of that post was that the points that are indicated in the post are some of the key elements that are contributing in the downfall of Bhangra (according to me) or taking Bhangra to a higher level (whoever else agree with that).
I think this post just went kind of off topic to "just" stage markers being used or no. I think that discussion will NEVER END. I can remember atleast 100 other threads where people have talked about this topic over and over agiain and have never came up with a solid answer that EVERYONE agree upon. Personally I don't think that we will ever have everyone on BTF agree on one thing when it comes to that topic.

I am going to say Markers should not be used because I don't think any dancer even look at them when they are dancing and if you are looking at them while you are dancing then that means you haven't prepared well enough. And now I know 10 other people will come up with a totally different answer opposing to what I said which I totally fine with. But I feel like that is not what we should get out of this post. What we need to learn is that changing a few things will not change how Bhangra is preceived now a days whether that is having high amount of gimmick,stage markers, or style etc. We need to change our mentality that we have a great community here that share only one passion and that is keeping Bhangra alive. THAT is something I can proudly say we all will agree upon and I think these points will only add up to the things we can do to keep Bhangra alive for the next generations to come. We need to make sure they are stuck to their roots and know where the Bhangra originated from and preserve the culture and tradition of Bhangra.

Gary
 

sajan250

Member
Messages
58
shreeps said:
Lot of good points here, Hardeep.

hardeep_singh said:
points should be deducted if they dance in a significantly smaller area than the rest of the teams

Just wanted to comment on this specific point. I've danced at competitions where judges did take this into account. I'm not sure if it was on the rubric, but I know that there was some disparity between how much of the stage different teams used, and that came into play for the final placings at that competition. I definitely think this should be considered while judging (at least to some extent), especially since it's typically easier to have more energy throughout a set if you don't have to move as much. That said, for teams that have difficulty finding practice spaces that are as large as stage size, I understand the appeal of not using the full stage (simply because there is no opportunity to get accustomed to dancing in an area that large).



At UT we have like 8 South Asian dance teams alone, so we're always trying to find space to practice - and usually it is a small area. IMO it's a lot easier to transition from a large practice area to a small stage, but not the opposite. So we try to practice on the largest possible area (usually around 35x35) and when we perform we try to match this. Going from practicing on a 35x35 to performing and trying to use most of a 50x60 stage is really hard.


I personally think using as much of the stage as you can without looking like you are a small team is a good idea. But on our team, most of the dancers start off with no expierience (as do most of the other collegiate teams in the circuit). So for a team that has majority of sophmores and freshman who don't have much experience, transitioning stage sizes is difficult (while trying to balance a clean set).




gursh313 said:
sumeetj said:
i think a team who can execute a clean set with complex formations without markers should be rewarded - that takes alot of skill, and if you have the facilities to practice consistently with 12-16 dancers and your dancers are able to judge their place in formations well just by looking at each other via peripherals, thats great and shows alot of talent and hard work



jasraj93 said:
Not bashing anyone but if your saying markers are necessary for new dancers, personally I don't think that individual is ready for a competition. Judges are judging the performance such as moves, nakreh formations etc. Markers are kind of cheating in my perspective, if you wanna use markers use instruments that you could later incorporate during the set, but having orange pylons kind of takes away from the performance. That's just my 2 cents.

If a team does formations without markers, and does hit them as clean as another team with markers, they should be rewarded for it, but teams using them shouldn't be penalized for them. Sumeet brought up the point where teams aren't always able to have practice with all 12 people. As he said, sometimes practice would be held with 6 people. People got jobs, school, and other respsibilties that keep them from spending more time with bhangra. My own practices for BBC were difficult because we only had a single 12 man practice, where the rest included 9 or 10. Markers come into play here, setting gaps and letting dancers know where they should be gives these teams a greater opportunity to do well at comps.


If more comps start stressing that they'll reward teams significantly for performing without markers, it may steer towards a future without markers. There are some comps in the fusion circuit that disqualifies teams for using markers, we're not going to be like that anytime soon.

I think there are many advantages to not relying on markers - one of the biggest being what if they are set incorrectly or they end up being moved. However, just like gursh said, I don't think teams should lose points for them. It takes a lot of experience to be able to not use markers and teams that constantly cycle through dancers have a difficult time with this.
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,475
#Harami said:
What happened to just dancing for fun :)
well bro, there's this concept called "bhangra competition", this concept is discussed fairly readily on BTF if you haven't noticed. anyways bro, to participate in "bhangra competitions" teams have to put together competitive performances, which they then showcase on stage in front of a live audience. i hope you're following me so far bro, because quite a lot of people find the whole experience of creating sets and performing sets to be fun, and part of that fun is pushing the limits, trying to improve, and not just stagnating. so bro, what did happen to dancing for fun? people still do it bro, at a competitive level, keep doing bhangra bro, i'm sure someday you'll get it.

karns post about weak dancers is legit, a lot of good insight.

don't worry sid, i'll try to get my thoughts together on the topic of speed sometime soon. that topic definitely requires some proper discussion. also planning on discussing intensity further which sgupta also posted about.

i think the topic of markers has been thoroughly argued over. i think a consensus can be reached that no penalization should occur for marker use but if a team performs without markers and hits formations just as well, they should get some "extra credit."
 

Psant

UNC Bhangra Elite Alum, Brandeis Bhangra
Messages
434
In regards to Hardeep's #6 "Speed":

What does everyone think about the introduction in the props segment for this popular routine (I would consider it to be "fast")? To me, speed at certain points of prop segments intertwined with more graceful segments is crucial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k58i_bQI2J8
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,475
siddyp said:
I think speed is great. But I find it hypocritical when people say that they don't like speed because it kills execution, yet loved NJ at Boston. I LOVED NJ at Boston. Their speed was through the roof. People say they executed amazingly, and I agree they did for that set. For the speed they had and how difficult the choreography was, they did well. But NOT to the standard you're setting about completing steps which is what plenty of others on this forum believe. Wanting to see teams complete steps is a fine notion to have, but don't say NJ had great execution when it goes against what you say. (this may not be something you said Hardeep, but others have)

I firmly agree with your comments about showing passion when dancing. But I disagree when you say "bhangra isn't about murdering moves." If the step calls for you to be powerful and manly, bring that out. Accentuate it. If that's the feel of the song and you're doing thappiya, be mean. It makes it look boss. And to me its passion.
i was chilling with some toronto people years ago after a comp where ranjit (ex NJ) was one of the judges. so we were talking with ranjit about bhangra and he made a statement that i distinctly remember, "it's easy to be slow and clean, but when you're fast and clean, that's when you're elite." nj seems to have taken that philosophy as a core value, their saap segment at bbc was ridiculously fast, they executed well and had strong dancers all around, it's a matter of personal opinion as to whether the speed was right, i thought it could have benefited from a dynamic pace to allow for slower/more powerful execution. but the truth is not many teams in the circuit can pull of a segment or even a set at that speed and execute it half as well, which is why i respect that set, even though there were dancers who were not executing as well as the rest of the team later in the set. what i personally think is ideal is if a team has dynamic pacing throughout their set, there are bhangra moves that can be executed well at a fast speed (ex. pataka) and there are bhangra moves that look absolutely horrible when executed at a fast speed (ex. chaffa, fasla), part of the reason why i've always wanted to dance live is because it allows you to change pace as much as you want and choreo your set so that the moves you do are executed at an ideal speed. i think sets would be more exciting if teams played around with changing speed more instead of just trying to go as fast as they can for the sake of hype and sacrificing clean execution. the video psant posted above is a good example of how dynamic the pace can be in live bhangra sets, change in speed throughout the saap/khunda segment definitely makes it more entertaining in my opinion, and the beginning is another example of how too much speed, even in a live set, can be messy especially with jandu singha moves and spin moves.

i don't equate expressing machismo via bhangra with showing passion. i might be a minority when it comes to this opinion but i think there's been too much emphasis placed on expressing macho manly "nakhra" when executing "powerful" moves. when you're yelling "hoi" and doing a thappi there's no need to make an excessively angry face and slap your thigh hard enough to leave a hand print.
 

#Harami

New Member
Messages
27
Unless dancers are blatantly staring at the markers instead of the crowd and doing noticeable things like that on stage, being penalized for having markers is useless. Obviously if teams do not use markers it is a lot more impressive, but I would rather see a routine hit formations 100% with markers then 90% without markers.
 

agoel21

New Member
Messages
11
HARDEEP! BRO!


One of my bros told me one thing that we as a community should keep in mind: "bhangra bro. brings people together and makes em act stupid."


I'll follow you wherever the bakery takes us - get that bread bro.
 

Gabroo Tv

Member
Messages
662
Sorry for the late entry, it's been a busy couple weeks :)

Markers should not be used. That's what Bhangra "practice" is for. Like my Ustad Ji thought me: what happens in practice, happens on stage. If you're not smiling at practice, if you're not expressing nakhra and josh at practice, if you're not going full out with all bhatkay, if you're not looking around and seeing where your spot should be in a formation, how do you expect to pull it together on stage? Additionally, like others have stated, your attention and focus, on stage, should be the audience. Who else have you spent months practicing for? Constantly looking down at markers will alleviate you of this.

This is in no way an effort to discredit any teams who do, or may have used markers. This is simply my personal opinion from my teachings.

-hh
 

SGupta7

Member
Messages
109
Gabroo Tv said:
Sorry for the late entry, it's been a busy couple weeks :)

Markers should not be used. That's what Bhangra "practice" is for. Like my Ustad Ji thought me: what happens in practice, happens on stage. If you're not smiling at practice, if you're not expressing nakhra and josh at practice, if you're not going full out with all bhatkay, if you're not looking around and seeing where your spot should be in a formation, how do you expect to pull it together on stage? Additionally, like others have stated, your attention and focus, on stage, should be the audience. Who else have you spent months practicing for? Constantly looking down at markers will alleviate you of this.

This is in no way an effort to discredit any teams who do, or may have used markers. This is simply my personal opinion from my teachings.

-hh

I totally agree that we should practice how we perform. Full nakhra, josh, all out runthroughs, etc. But by that same token shouldn't we practice without markers then? If you want to practice how you perform then teams should either practice AND perform with markers or should practice AND perform without them. But I guess that's an entirely different discussion.
 

Gabroo Tv

Member
Messages
662
SGupta7 said:
I totally agree that we should practice how we perform. Full nakhra, josh, all out runthroughs, etc. But by that same token shouldn't we practice without markers then? If you want to practice how you perform then teams should either practice AND perform with markers or should practice AND perform without them. But I guess that's an entirely different discussion.

Yes, absolutely. My Ustad never let us dance in front of mirrors. It wasn't because we didn't have access to a practice space with mirrors, it was because there were no mirrors when dancing on stage. Instead, we would have a camera, dead center. We would always perform full run-throughs. After the run-through, we would watch the video to see what needed improvement. Afterwards, we would go back at it, again and again. Watching the run-through immediately served 2 purposes, each dancer understood any mistakes they made, and secondly you got a breather before the next run. In other words, it was very productive.

Though I don't actively dance with the team today, Coach still employs this method of practice upon us. Granted we do live and don't have formations quite as complex as what some teams do, we've had very good form on stage. You may watch any of the Gabroo's recent performances to see, lining and spacing is on point. Perfect? Of course not, but even with markers, it won't be perfect either.
 

desi99

Aruan S.
Messages
244
#Harami said:
Unless dancers are blatantly staring at the markers instead of the crowd and doing noticeable things like that on stage, being penalized for having markers is useless. Obviously if teams do not use markers it is a lot more impressive, but I would rather see a routine hit formations 100% with markers then 90% without markers.
Hitting formations 90% without markers is definitely more impressive than hitting em 100% with markers( which never happens), at least without markers you can improve on that remaining 10% with practice. I think formations are a great to enhance your creativity, but only a fraction of the audience or judges can actually see your formations because not every competition has a judge in a balcony looking at formations.

In truth, Formations don't matter if your choreo, execution, and nakhra is dogshit because a judge will always point out a tired, unhappy, or sloppy dancer over formations.
Good point with mirrors, Using mirrors is great at the beginning when making the set and getting that muscle memory to see what your set looks like in the front view. In the cleaning phase, cover up the mirrors or face opposite of the mirrors, this will give more credibility to your nakhra and smile and not make you look like a fake smiling bhangra dancing robot.
One last thing,
I just saw a team win a competition outright with a gig set (from the looks of it) and now they're considered "folk". Having simple easy formation doesn't make you a "folk/traditional" team in any way. Ive seen harder/complex sets 5 years ago which were considered "folk/tradition". If you wanna go in that traditional direction, then thats where live bhangra happens.
 

IrfanHashimie18

New Member
Messages
22
desi99 said:
New Gimmick: Don't use stage markers.

That really is a gimmick lol. To be quite honest when you perform, everything is just instinct. You go by from what you have been practicing on. There's no time to think and look at markers on stage, it'll show on stage if you're overthinking and your nakhra will not look as good. Agreeing with Harjot, if you're not going all out with your practices then you're not going all out with your competition. I would suggest if you have newer dancers you should start practicing with markers at first and then maybe 2 weeks before the performance start doing run throughs without them. That's my opinion, eh.
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,475
agoel21 said:
HARDEEP! BRO!

One of my bros told me one thing that we as a community should keep in mind: "bhangra bro. brings people together and makes em act stupid."

I'll follow you wherever the bakery takes us - get that bread bro.
BRO YOU DON'T EVEN LIFT!!! i need some focaccia bread :eek:
 

Ashveer

New Member
Messages
492
desi99 said:
#Harami said:
Unless dancers are blatantly staring at the markers instead of the crowd and doing noticeable things like that on stage, being penalized for having markers is useless. Obviously if teams do not use markers it is a lot more impressive, but I would rather see a routine hit formations 100% with markers then 90% without markers.
Hitting formations 90% without markers is definitely more impressive than hitting em 100% with markers( which never happens), at least without markers you can improve on that remaining 10% with practice. I think formations are a great to enhance your creativity, but only a fraction of the audience or judges can actually see your formations because not every competition has a judge in a balcony looking at formations.

In truth, Formations don't matter if your choreo, execution, and nakhra is dogshit because a judge will always point out a tired, unhappy, or sloppy dancer over formations.
Good point with mirrors, Using mirrors is great at the beginning when making the set and getting that muscle memory to see what your set looks like in the front view. In the cleaning phase, cover up the mirrors or face opposite of the mirrors, this will give more credibility to your nakhra and smile and not make you look like a fake smiling bhangra dancing robot.
One last thing,
I just saw a team win a competition outright with a gig set (from the looks of it) and now they're considered "folk". Having simple easy formation doesn't make you a "folk/traditional" team in any way. Ive seen harder/complex sets 5 years ago which were considered "folk/tradition". If you wanna go in that traditional direction, then thats where live bhangra happens.
Agreed on mirrors. most of us don't like to admit that from a technical perspective, North American bhangra looked almost as bad as UK bhangra (cheap shot, I know) for the longest time. One of the reasons NA 'modern' bhangra became 'bhangra' transnationally is because teams began to practice like other competitive dance teams; that is in studios, in front of mirrors contra Uncle Lakhpinderpal's backyard.
 

campy614

New Member
Messages
666
desi99 said:
#Harami said:
Unless dancers are blatantly staring at the markers instead of the crowd and doing noticeable things like that on stage, being penalized for having markers is useless. Obviously if teams do not use markers it is a lot more impressive, but I would rather see a routine hit formations 100% with markers then 90% without markers.
Hitting formations 90% without markers is definitely more impressive than hitting em 100% with markers( which never happens), at least without markers you can improve on that remaining 10% with practice. I think formations are a great to enhance your creativity, but only a fraction of the audience or judges can actually see your formations because not every competition has a judge in a balcony looking at formations.

In truth, Formations don't matter if your choreo, execution, and nakhra is dogshit because a judge will always point out a tired, unhappy, or sloppy dancer over formations.
Good point with mirrors, Using mirrors is great at the beginning when making the set and getting that muscle memory to see what your set looks like in the front view. In the cleaning phase, cover up the mirrors or face opposite of the mirrors, this will give more credibility to your nakhra and smile and not make you look like a fake smiling bhangra dancing robot.
One last thing,
I just saw a team win a competition outright with a gig set (from the looks of it) and now they're considered "folk". Having simple easy formation doesn't make you a "folk/traditional" team in any way. Ive seen harder/complex sets 5 years ago which were considered "folk/tradition". If you wanna go in that traditional direction, then thats where live bhangra happens.
I agree to the point where dancers need to ensure that they focus on the audience and their nakhra is present on stage. However I don't think teams should get rid of markers if they feel they need it.

Here's the thing - teams are showcasing their vision and making a statement. And they have a right to showcase 100% of that vision, and not just 90% of it (also let's not forget that they have a right to define for themselves what is more impressive). No team should have to settle for 90%. You wouldn't go up to any artist in any field and say "oh 90% of your vision is impressive enough." And with competition being so high lately, no team will be rewarded for just 90%. If using stage markers helps dancers ensure that they hit their formations - so be it. If anything dancers should train themselves to only look at markers as a backup. We've all seen teams with PHENOMENAL dancers that have used markers.

Also let's keep in mind there have been plenty of cases where things go wrong. Dancer needs to be added/replaced last second and didn't have much time to practice (been on all ends of this spectrum). Formations change last second, whether that's a week before being on stage or literally during rehearsal. New dancers in general. Also keep in mind that while teams are given stage dimensions beforehand, that doesn't compare to physically being on stage. Teams only get a 15-20 minute (20 if the committee is super nice, or if it's a small show) stage rehearsal to adjust themselves, where as with other dance competitions/showcases teams could have an hour or more.

Last - every team's unique. What works for some might not work for all. Some teams don't need markers. Some only use a few markers. Some needs as many markers as they could physically get their hands on. That doesn't matter - what matters is the set. What matters is the dance.
 
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