New teams, style, and having some class

Saleem

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
1,929
I just saw this post where a member derides a certain, newer team, and says "teams should do better than [that team]".


How. Ridiculous.


First of all, as I've said time and time again, BTF is a place for constructive criticism and discussion. I see no need to throw UW Bhangra into the discussion on Chicago teams, and say "haha look how much they suck". No one is born doing bhangra, and we all work hard to improve our form, style, and overall skill. Some of us also balance this with responsibilities in school, work, or home. Who are you to look down on them and laugh? If anything, BTF and its members can be open as a resource to them for whatever they want to learn or discuss.


Second of all, let's see what teams say nowadays:
- call your team's style something new and amazing
- talk about how your team has this interesting piece of footwork that no other team does
- you do some amazing khunda swing/jump/skip/throw/hook/pairing that no other team does


Say what you want about music or live, folk or fast: the bhangra scene across North America is rather homogeneous and advancing together. While UW Bhangra has a different style, maybe that's what they want to do. Not everyone wants to have paired vardiyan, do your predictable
saap -> daang -> mixed props/kato -> bhangra -> jhummar -> sialkoti/phumanian/mirza -> fast bhangra -> gimmick -> fast ending


set that every team does (or slight variations thereof). Is their dance "folk"? Would it win a national competition based on existing rubrics? Probably not. But they're having fun, spreading culture on their campus, and doing what they love. I encourage them and every team. Also, please have some class.
 

Sue Sylvester

kinnell
Messages
467
Saleem, I think the aforementioned event can be grouped into the case of a newer BTF member who thinks he is relatively anonymous and free to express his opinions online without real life consequences. I think the community has come a long way in supporting new teams and a good portion of BTF can sympathize with newer dancers learning how to make the best of performances but not given the resources of an Indian ustaadji, an academy or having Arjun Barua on your roster.

However, I do feel that opinions either get censored prematurely without looking at the context/intention or get sugarcoated without reason. For example and giving a hypothetical example, I feel that these days some may see a comment about "poorly tied chaadres making the performance painful to watch" as derogatory, nonconstructive and malicious against a newer team. But c'mon, for the vast majority of guys, it really detracts from a performance when you see thighs and in a way, nudity. It's a statement of honest opinion that is criticizing a single aspect of the performance, not intended to trample the spirits of a growing team and not intended to belittle the hardwork that the team put forth.

I think people in the community still needs to understand the difference between malicious actions intended to do harm like posting a video of a growing team of high-schoolers with a sarcastic title of "best bhangra ever" and providing opinions of individual aspects of performances in a more straight-up-in-your-face way with "Your black kurtas look like they were made from garbage bags. You gotta get pictures from the tailor before you order!" or "The guy/girl peacock stunt you did with the 2 girls and the 1 guy as the base was straight disturbing! Re-evaluate your x-factors.".
 

Pavan

New Member
Messages
155
I'm gonna go ahead and post my response to Hartej's comment here so as not to take any attention away from the original purpose of the other thread. You can videos of almost any team that would be considered "not good" by the standards of experienced dancers, including Northwestern. Like Saleem said, every single one of us has to work hard to develop into good dancers, and these guys are doing just that.


Also after watching the video, I really don't have any issues with it in terms of quality of dancing for a newer team. It is true that they would have a tough time placing at a national competition, but I'm sure in a couple years, both of these teams will be nationally recognized if people give them constructive, helping criticism, rather than posting their video on a forum, and mocking them. I hope that when/if people from UW see this, they realize there are a lot more people on BTF/in the bhangra community that are willing to help their team develop than jackasses who will discourage them and mock them. There are a lot of new teams in the midwest, and in a place where bhangra wasn't that big a few years ago, it will take some time before every team is up to par with teams that are placing at national competitions.


Hartej, it looks as though you are from a newer team too, Penn State (sorry if im wrong) but I assume you wouldn't want one of your teams first performances posted on btf and ridiculed.
 

J Hayer

Member
Messages
273
I think the presence of so much more information on the internet as well as observing the processes of evaluation/critique for teams by older/experience members on btf and youtube...the rest of us think we're bona fide judges/experts ourselves. I'm not sure if there's anything we can do about that, but there definitely has been a sense of arrogance (not the good and productive kind) that has blanketed btf. yay. punjabis.
 

sapg21

New Member
Messages
98
hardeep_singh said:
too much arrogance in the bhangra scene
in my opinion, this is one of the biggest problems i see in the circuit. it doesn't just show itself on BTF, but at competitions as well.
 

Saleem

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Messages
1,929
Sue you're right that people sugarcoat comments to be political or nice. Sometimes things need to be said. Do you think things get censored by mods, or self-censored by people, or censored socially by the community? I can understand the last two, but in reviewing moderators' actions, they're always for egregious comments like "you dance like a f**" or other garbage like that.

People need to be straightforward, and I think most people end up speaking their mind so it's not as big a deal as some of the arrogance and garbage we see. I would say it's up to the "elders", not just of the community, but individual teams, to teach and mentor their younger members. If I was captain of Penn State bhangra right now I'd slap Hartej on the back of the head and tell him he's an idiot, and tell him why (you know, so he can learn). Then I'd prolly hit him again lol
 

zagreus

Active Member
Messages
1,473
Sapan said:
hardeep_singh said:
too much arrogance in the bhangra scene
in my opinion, this is one of the biggest problems i see in the circuit. it doesn't just show itself on BTF, but at competitions as well.
I agree with the Legend himself, Sapan Gandhi. <3
 

Kush

Active Member
Messages
1,401
Sue Sylvester said:
I think the community has come a long way in supporting new teams and a good portion of BTF can sympathize with newer dancers learning how to make the best of performances but not given the resources of an Indian ustaadji, an academy or having Arjun Barua on your roster.

I lol'd so hard i couldnt stop crying, but youre dead on. Having someone with knowledge, patience, and experience is such a benefit to a team (changed the face of guardians to a large extent) but unfortunately not all of us get that opportunity. What i wish was that there were more Arjun barua's in so far as to say he is willing to help any team, not only because they need someone who can learn a dance last minute, but rather in the sense of people who are on/have been on established teams providing insight, assistance, criticism, and ideas to those who are newbies and looking to learn.... Now i thought thats what BTF was all about. These days? its become petty to a large extent. Obviously, i'm generalizing, but how many experienced dancers are taking their time to watch the videos in a thread entitled "new team, just starting out! comments/criticism wanted!"... somehow i feel like the number is limited. So much for an environment that fosters growth. (sorry for sounding so cynical)
 

gursikhpreet1

Member
Messages
272
Thanks Saleem for creating this topic- i agree with what you said.

BTF is a place for everyone to share their love, and passion for bhangra- it isn't a place (rather, it shouldn't be a place) to bash other teams. There's a difference between constructive criticism and slander. Granted, everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but that doesn't mean you should attack a team that's starting off.

Besides, I thought UW had some awesome intense energy yo.


hardeep_singh said:
too much arrogance in the bhangra scene, people need to stop being so serious and just have fun
+1111
 

Saab

Today is a gift
Messages
991
To all the new people who are on the forum....


....do what lets you have fun, and enjoy. No one here can take that from you.
 

Hartej

New Member
Messages
10
I apologize to anyone that was offended by my senseless post. I was just bored on youtube and vented a realization. Def didn't need to stir up any drama. My apologies again.
 

ranikaur90

New Member
Messages
2
I never post on here, but this was an interesting topic, and something that I actually have an opinion on...

As someone who has seen UW SOB perform live several times and knows a few members on the team, I can safely say that they have not really been open to constructive criticism, and I can almost guarantee that not one member on that team is on BTF (if they are, that's great but they haven't really been utilizing their resources. this team has been around for the past 3 years and honestly I haven't seen any improvement- because this team already thinks they are up to par with current teams in the midwest who have been competing for a while like UIC Bhangra and Northwestern Bhangra) Also, I think they are planning on competing this coming year. Granted, one does not need to read BTF on the daily to try and improve their bhangra team, but when it comes down to criticism and trying to help a team out, some teams just don't want it. I definitely don't think this is a place where new-er teams should be mocked and derided, but in the same token, some new teams out there already think they are the best and have the ability to compete on a national level with the likes of teams who have been in the circuit a lot longer, and have built up a credible rep. I'm def not here to bash UW SOB , because in all honesty, I want them to rep the bhangra scene from the midwest well, but this team def needs a wake up call.


I know this topic is not directed towards UW SOB, but it annoys me that there are newer teams out there, who already think they've been running the circuit for the past decade. Criticism is only effective when a team is open to something new, and actually thinks they need improvement.


Any ways, good luck to any new teams! take the criticism, it will only make your team so much better!
 
Messages
220
Saleem said:
Second of all, let's see what teams say nowadays:
- call your team's style something new and amazing
- talk about how your team has this interesting piece of footwork that no other team does
- you do some amazing khunda swing/jump/skip/throw/hook/pairing that no other team does


Say what you want about music or live, folk or fast: the bhangra scene across North America is rather homogeneous and advancing together. While UW Bhangra has a different style, maybe that's what they want to do.[SIZE=large]Not everyone wants to have paired vardiyan, do your predictable [/SIZE][SIZE=large]saap -> daang -> mixed props/kato -> bhangra -> jhummar -> sialkoti/phumanian/mirza -> fast bhangra -> gimmick -> fast ending [/SIZE]
set that every team does (or slight variations thereof). Is their dance "folk"?Would it win a national competition based on existing rubrics? Probably not. But they're having fun, spreading culture on their campus, and doing what they love.

I think you have touched on something very very important in your post. It seems that these days teams construct a set strictly based on what the judging rubric says so they can maximize their chances of winning. I have uploaded an example judge rubric and you can almost go down the line and check off the things Saleem stated in his above post and then assign point values to them. THIS IS HOW YOU KILL CREATIVITY. I understand that is is essential to have a solid judging rubric but when competitions seem to adopt the same ones and just use different means to tally up the scores then all it does is shrink it down to sheer numbers. A rubric should be flexible according to the competition and allow more creativity in a set. Yes everything stated above should be included but it does not have to be broken down to 15 points for this 10 points for that BS. If there was a general guideline depending on the competition which included the basic essentials of Bhangra it would allow teams to expand a great deal upon what they are given. You can argue that some teams like SGPD,NJ and others already do this. Yes they do! They seem to know how to present a good and unique set even under a strict rubric. Bhangra these days has become more about placing at the comp then actually presenting a set that is creative and enjoyable for the world to see. If we truly want teams to push the envelope and expand Bhangra into the far reaches of society then things really need to change. The attitude, presentation and skill will hit a roadblock if we continue to crush others progress and fight amongst ourselves over petty issues. Thats all I really have to say. Thanks.
 

Attachments

reppinsteelcity

I lurk often and post little.
Messages
99
Just wanted to add quickly that Penn State Bhangra is an all-girls team, and to my knowledge Hartej has not performed or is affiliated with this years team. Karan Shah is trying really hard to get things off the ground there, and I don't want this negativity to be associated with them- especially as they just start out. That's all I have to say;I'm out.
 

karan923

Member
Messages
534
Saleem said:
Sue you're right that people sugarcoat comments to be political or nice. Sometimes things need to be said. Do you think things get censored by mods, or self-censored by people, or censored socially by the community? I can understand the last two, but in reviewing moderators' actions, they're always for egregious comments like "you dance like a f**" or other garbage like that.

People need to be straightforward, and I think most people end up speaking their mind so it's not as big a deal as some of the arrogance and garbage we see. I would say it's up to the "elders", not just of the community, but individual teams, to teach and mentor their younger members. If I was captain of Penn State bhangra right now I'd slap Hartej on the back of the head and tell him he's an idiot, and tell him why (you know, so he can learn). Then I'd prolly hit him again lol
I am captain and coach of The Pennsylvania State University Bhangra team. Hartej is not affiliated with the team in any way and he does not reflect the views of the members on the team. So, please do not reflect his posts with that of PSU Bhangra's.
 

Hartej

New Member
Messages
10
Im an alumni that bull shitted with the name psu pendus. Goodluck to psu Bhangra and their team
 
Top