Bhangra Baby!

Last year, my sister and I were so excited to attend a Bhangra dance competition in Calgary, only to find out that the show was cancelled (and this too only when we drove in to go). It was a huge disappointment, but when we discovered the show would be back this year we immediately made arrangements! What we got was a fantastic evening full of amazing dancing, some unexpected singing and a whole lot of fun!

Our day started with the hour and half drive, of course the ipod blaring and lots of car dancing, until we reached the Indian area of Calgary to meet OldisGold for some preshow get to know ya time! There's something really cool about meeting a blogger friend in person for the first time. After spending too much money on movies, we headed over for some eats, and, over lassis, butter chicken and dal, we talked about Hrithik's extra appendage, how I'm cheating on Shah Rukh with my newly formed crush on hunky khol wearing Arshad Warsi, mangoes, and the blogger get together in Boston and how we need to plan another one (IIFA in Toronto next summer, anyone!?). Then we did a short tour of the jewellery boutiques in the area before we had to rush off to get to the show. It was so nice to meet Ira, but way too short! Next time we must plan to spend more time visiting!!!

Arriving at the Jubilee, we were quite obviously the minority, but I love people watching, so it was awesome to see all the gorgeous kameez', sari's and bahut handsome desi men! We weren't able to get tickets with Ira, so, after planning to find each other after, we headed to our seats. It was a packed audience, and I could feel the energy in the room as the competition started, the Punjabi spirit was high! There was lots of amazing dancing and really, the competition as a whole blew my mind. All 8 groups made the dancing seem so effortless, watching them just move across the stage almost like they're floating, it really was just amazing. The music was incredibly loud and fantastic and I had a hard time staying in my seat throughout. Chair dancing sometimes just doesn't cut it! The energy, that incredible dhol drum beat, there really is nothing like good Bhangra beat!

The winners:
Pehchaan Apni Nachdi Jandi (PANJ) - Surrey, B.C
(not from the actual show, but you get the idea!)

My faves of the night:
Shan-e-Punjab Arts Club - Surrey, B.C.
Incidentally, Shan-e Punjab also got the largest audience reaction, especially when they brought out some junior dancers towards the end of their set. They came in 2nd! Again, the clip isn't from the Calgary show, but still so good.

My favorite part of the show, however, was near the end. While the judges were off in deliberation, the stage was house to all the teams as they waited, and two musical guests, Calgary's The PropheC and Vancouver's Raju Johal. With all of the impromptu singing and dancing that took place I felt like this was probably the closest I'd ever get to a Punjabi wedding! Even the stage crew was getting into it.

We had a too short goodbye after finally finding Ira amongst the masses, and then made our way home the exact same way we came. It was quite possibly the funnest and most lively nights I've experienced, and I can't wait to go again next year! Thanks to my sister for accompanying me! Hadippa!

9 Response to "Bhangra Baby!"

  1. Anishok says:
    April 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Wow! Am jealous, but glad you had so much fun!

    The music was incredibly loud and fantastic and I had a hard time staying in my seat throughout.

    I can only imagine! Bhangra always makes me wanna stand up and throw my hands up in the air...

  2. bollyviewer says:
    April 5, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    It was great meeting you, too! We should definitely have more visiting (and shopping and eating) time, next time round. :-)

    The last part of the show was my favorite, too! I LOVED the spontaneous dancing and Raju Johal's singing.

    Love your pictures! My friends tried getting some, but for some reason their snaps didnt come out well. I was too busy admiring all the colorful salwar/churidar suits in the audience to spare much thought to pictures!

  3. Shell says:
    April 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Ani - Had it been an event that we all could have gone to together I don't think any amount of superglue would have kept us in our seats, what say?!

    It was definitely a good time!

    bollyviewer - YES! More time is definitely needed next time. I thought it was just great that members from different groups would just start dancing with each other and just go into a routine like they'd been dancing together all along! Too bad about the mike going out for that one guy though. I bet he was embarrassed.

    LOVED all the gorgeous outfits. I totally felt underdressed. Though, if I'd have shown up in a salwar or something I probably would have gotten some looks. (maybe from some of the hottie's there and that wouldn't have been a bad thing!)

  4. bollywooddeewana says:
    April 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Awesome, lovely reading about your meet up experience, yes a bolly blogger meet up sounds like a good idea,it sounds ages away though. If you happen/ if you think you're likely to be in London, it would be cool to meet up

  5. Shell says:
    April 5, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Gosh, I would love to go to London. Unfortunately the closest I'll probably ever get is London, Ontario! Maybe one day! Next summer's not that far away though! I'm saving my pennies as we speak!

  6. Filmi Girl says:
    April 5, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Sounds like you had a great time!!! :D

  7. Shell says:
    April 5, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Well, it's no Atif Aslam concert, but it'll do!

  8. MinaiMinai says:
    April 13, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    Glad to see some Bhangra love! I wish I lived near a place with these competitions because they are simply amazing. All the fusion remixes they use for the music are fantastic. :) Enjoyed reading your post!

  9. Shell says:
    April 14, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    Thanks MinaiMinai! Yes, the music was as fantastic as the dancing (well, maybe the dancing had a little edge). I wish I lived in the city so that I could take in more things like this, but at least it's not that far away! I look forward to attending again next year!