Khirre Phul Gulab De presents Heer-Ranjha @ BBC 2017

sumeetj

Active Member
Messages
631
Kiddaan BTF! On behalf of Carolina Indian Arts and the many Phoolz of Khirre Phul Gulab De, I present you our performance from Boston Bhangra Competition 2017 - where we had the honor and joy of presenting a classic Punjabi folk tale, Heer-Ranjha.

As you’ll be able to tell, this performance is quite different from the norm - and many people have begun expressing their views on the set, and perhaps how there is no place for this sort of rendition in our art of bhangra.

Before you make any judgements on the team’s vision of this idea, I wanted to let a couple of things be known:

- There is no disrespect intended towards our art form by portraying it in such a manner. We believe that bhangra, like other arts, is something that can be expressed in a variety of forms - and we were hoping to experiment with pushing the boundaries of using traditional bhangra execution combined with production value to tell stories, as well as getting to elements from other dance forms (namely in this particular production, ballet, thanks to Angela)

- The goal of telling this story, similar to our Bruin routine, as well as things like including on-screen translations, is simply to help spread Punjabi culture and make it a more visible part of our performance. We wanted to show that the songs we chose fit the story perfectly, and that anyone in the audience could follow along - not just those who are fluent in Punjabi.

- There definitely were lighting issues from Boston’s tech staff. There were never any blackouts intended for the stage, except during the death scene, when only a spotlight was to be made visible. Instead, the dancers on the sides of stage were seen, and then they blacked out our stage for the first half of our ending segment - it was not meant to be a glow in the dark segment. It was one of the most hype and continuous dancing parts of the set, and we were really upset that people only saw the wristbands we wore in that part.

- In hindsight, we included a few too many production elements on stage than we had the manpower to deal with (when our dancers left stage, they were usually sprinting from one end to the other to make things work) - and totally agree that in the end, some of these elements (such as moving TV barriers that had power cords unplugged) definitely contributed to detracting from our dancing and performance as a whole, instead of enhancing the performance the way we imagined.

- I could go on and on with all the things I’d like to say on behalf of our team, but in the end, I was happy to be a part of such an attempt to push the boundaries of this dance and try to contribute to the bhangra circuit in a unique way. We hope to learn from the mistakes from this performance and do it more justice next time!

We appreciate all your comments, even if you tell us we are phuddus :)


Mix: Teg Hans + GSingh.
Backdrop video: SP Digital Media.
Mera Ranjha vocals: Nina Gandhi.
Lighting design: Kevin Esprella (Spark Productions).

Coach - Kuntal
Red - Iffy/Jaspreet/Azie/Deepika
Green - Sammy/Radhika/Chirag/Sanjana
Blue - Ravin/Roshni/Aman/Neha
Purple - Ram/Pooja/Luvreet/Tejasee
Black - Yeshel/Ruchi/Kanwar/Amandeep
Yellow - Abhay/Shahana/Sumeet/Angela



 

Howie Magz

Well-Known Member
Messages
454
Coming into this with a open mind I like the concept of what you were trying to do. I think that this performance would hit better in a Broadway or Bollywoord type setting. For example, I showed this to my parents and they said “wow this was realy cool” I think the true goal of Bhangra should be spreading the culture to the masses which is in its way the best form of preservation. Look at how many non-desi dancers there are and how we have gotten to learn about the desi culture itself.

Now back to the performance. I think if you guys did not have the switching out of the dancers or the stop and go aspects then you can MAYBE reveal this at a competition such as Bruin. The thing is that with y’all past First place Bruin performance, there was no switching out of dancers and etc. I think the circuit would like to know that was this performance put on to show that bhangra can be used to tell a story or was this made to win a Competition. Either way I like the risk y’all took regardless.
 

Amrit Singh

Member
Messages
7
I'm sure many people have already expressed this opinion, but I think it's safe to say that this is objectively NOT traditional bhangra (in fact probably the furthest thing I've seen from it in recent years). Kpgd never has taken the super traditional approach so I wouldn't expect that to suddenly happen; I want to preface all of this by saying that I think that it's good that there are teams like you guys who make an effort to be different. A big complaint that people seem to have is that "all the teams look the same" and teams taking risks and pushing boundaries (whether or not they're rewarded for it) is the only way to break out of that.

That being said, I think that you should consider drawing a line as to what does belong in bhangra sets and what is a bit too fusioney. Namely, switching dancers between segments is something that I think you should scrap for the future. One of the best things about bhangra is how each segment flows from one to the other and that the performance has a continuous pattern and energy to it, which gets lost in a set like this one. I think you could have easily avoided this by highlighting the girls formationally for certain segments and the guys for the others instead of just swapping groups off of the stage.

Also, like you said yourself, you went a bit overboard on production value. I saw your bruin set live and I think that did a great job of using production factors to enhance your performance while not distracting the audience from your actual dancing. This set made it seem like the bhangra in the set was only secondary to whatever production element was going on in any given segment. If you want to continue to tell stories through your sets, that's perfectly fine, but I would consider trying to make it more subtle and nuanced. Find a balance between that and I think you'll have much more successful sets in the future.
 
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Varan Rakhra

bas iko varr boldi dunali te doji vari VARAN bolda
Messages
179
Man.. obviously I'm not going to be a broken record and keep repeating what the flaws to this set is because you can read everything above me.. but damn boys/girls.. you guys have a style that is really different from every music team. Utilize that and stop doing all this extra jibbersh stuff with projectors, retelling old Punjabi love tales or whatever and stick to the DANCE itself! Showcase your talents in each form of bhangra, create sets with your unique style, choreography and just rippp it! I think you guys have the potential of being a top 3 team if you just stick to doing bhangra and focus more on the set and dancers. I see such talent in your dancers but man I literally see them hopping in and out, and trying to make formations so forced that it takes away from their abilities. Takake Bhangra pao and smash. Look forward to seeing more of you guys this season :)
 

BhangraSUCKS

Active Member
Messages
131
I think the next time you guys do something like this, keep it all the same, but just make everyone randomly turn into zombies during the show. Instant 1st place.
 

BundDetector

New Member
Messages
3
Thesis: There is no place for bhangra to be performed as an interpretive dance for competition purposes.

50 Shades of Cultural Appropriation: "Bhangra and/or any other dance form does not need to be clearly defined." Most classical dance forms are STRICTLY defined, especially when you look at indian classical dance forms such as kathak and kuchipudi. Classical dances are taught in a manner that does not deviate from original structure of the dance as defined whenever that dance was originated and the stories played out by those dances are also strictly defined. Bhangra and all of the dances which have been incorporated into bhangra are accepted as folk dances which are not rigidly defined as classical dances are. But bhangra is a method of expression of punjabi culture and as such is defined by that culture/history/language/folklore. To understand the evolution of bhangra you have to understand the culture that spawned it, to understand the culture that spawned it you need to understand language and musical styles. Even though bhangra isn't rigidly defined there are cultural standards in place that define what constitutes a bhangra performance. There seems to be an effort to push bhangra beyond those cultural standards to make it more palatable to a broader audience. Examples of this are masala bhangra, bhangra funk, and the kpgd performance in question. In conclusion: No, this performance will not help people continue to try new things and push boundries. If you want to use a performance to tell a folk story, understand the story and take the time to do the research as to what the best format for presentation is, and then conduct a performance which the audience enjoys and respects, but that's not a competitive bhangra performance and never will be.
Even though this may be true, Sometimes art has to be tampered with and altered a little bit for others to appreciate it and/or notice it. There are many dancers on the circuit that developed an interest in bhangra from Empire, Funk, and other teams that you might say is not traditional bhangra. But that exposure then allowed them to learn more about the art form. What the best way to present something for a broader audience is based on opinion. Many professionals even do that today. Famous classical musicians bend the rules to create music that will appeal to the audience and there are people that dont agree with that but it still broadens the spectrum of interest that arises in that.
 

hardeep_singh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,475
Even though this may be true, Sometimes art has to be tampered with and altered a little bit for others to appreciate it and/or notice it. There are many dancers on the circuit that developed an interest in bhangra from Empire, Funk, and other teams that you might say is not traditional bhangra. But that exposure then allowed them to learn more about the art form. What the best way to present something for a broader audience is based on opinion. Many professionals even do that today. Famous classical musicians bend the rules to create music that will appeal to the audience and there are people that dont agree with that but it still broadens the spectrum of interest that arises in that.
general/generic statements, does not a rebuttal make. you propose absolutely no counter-argument worth responding to. the entire post is so pitiful that i'm tempted to write a strong argument for you but alas not that vehla anymore.
 

desi99

Aruan S.
Messages
244
first of all, you definitely need a new designated chadrah tier for some of the dancers, the overall execution was definitely not worth top 3 for placing,
especially with all those breaks in the set too. I'm sure you would also agree, this set was a huge risk. This type of set needed to be mastered 1000% before performing...there were a lot of distractions with dancers leaving, and the smoker machines keep coming in the way...
looked like all the extra production and errors with lighting, did not benefit the performance. Simply, all the technical aspects that were supposed to enhance the performance did not happen, the way you wanted it. I'm sure judges must have had a tough time judging this one as well.
Other than that I still applaud the effort and what the team was trying to do, incorporating a theme, and creating a set based on that theme...some very talented dancers I saw, as well..
If this routine was executed perfectly, it definitely would have made history, and changed the way Music Sets are created forever... and I'm sure this team will stick to this style and probably do it better, without all those flaws...
 
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scaplash

Husky Bhangra (retired); KWG; GR
Messages
127
Shoutout to you guys for always tryna push the limits/boundaries, and also shoutout for putting yourselves up on BTF and opening yourselves to every form of criticism/critique/troll etc-not a lot teams have the cajones to do that.
Everything that needs to be said about production/concept has been said. From an execution standpoint-there was some good choreo-intricate in its speed and variation-that you guys pulled off relatively cleanly. Liked a lot of the formations I saw in build ups-some nice drops, some less memorable drops.
I think, from a broader perspective there were too many "plot points" it felt like you guys were trying to tell a 15 minute story in 7- which really interrupted flow. Segments were short and there were drastic changes in pace, resulting in people cutting corners in execution at some points, rushing to hit spots on stage-not to mention the constant drastic pace change was disorienting (at least on the video). As a team you guys put together strong choreo, and unique formations and regardless of whatever the opinion is on switching dancers/fog machines/production-there was some good bhangra done (it just got a bit muddled with the switching/fog etc)
Can't wait to see where you guys take this.
 
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