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Q: What is the competition? Where is it held? Who will you be competing against?
A: We are competing at Josh-E-Naach on Feb. 10. It’s a three-day event in New York. There is a mixer where all teams come together to mingle, play games, eat dinner and determine the show order lineup through a double-blind game that randomizes the order. After the mixer teams practice into the night to polish their routines.
Saturday is all about the competition. The day starts early with prop set-up time where you make sure all of your props and sets are ready side stage to be used that night. You get 15 minutes to practice your routine on stage with full lights, costumes and props and 20 minutes to practice the routine in a room labeled with stage dimensions.
After practice, you head back to the hotel to get fully ready for the show. Following the show is a party where all the teams celebrate their work.
Q: Who will you be competing against?
A: This competition is for both Bollywood-fusion and Garba-Raas teams. We are participating in the Bollywood-fusion category against 6 other teams from across the country. They are Drexel Jhalak, Temple Agni, NYU Pandemonium, UCI Zamana, Gator Adaa and Brown Badmaash.
Here’s the FB event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2021123811510648/
Q: How many people are competing from ASU?
A: There are 15 people competing from ASU. We are also really excited that our captain from the 2014-15 year and a few other ASU Alum will also be attending the show to support us.
Q: What will you be doing at the competition?
A: Our performance in total is a 10-minute themed routine with 10 different dances within.
It starts with a 2-minute intro video that gives the audience a preface of what our performance will be about. The dance routine picks up where the intro video leaves off and we tell the rest of the story in eight minutes through various Indian and Western dance styles, props, backdrops, multiple costumes and dialogue. It’s a full-on production!
Q: How have you been preparing?
A: As captains, we begin developing the theme and routine at the end of the previous academic year so that we can use the summer break to execute ideas. After we get our new team, we take the fall semester to learn around five minutes of choreography and completely sync it so that we can send in an application video to compete.
Over the winter break, our dancers are required to send us a video of all of the dances we have learned in one take. The team has been fully invested in the theme, dance and production since November, but January is our most hard-working month. This is where we put all the pieces together by learning additional dances and adding all of the production elements to the routine. We also record the intro video in January to feature the team as well. We start January practicing five times a week, but the last two weeks we meet every day.
Q: What is your goal for the competition?
A: Our goal for the competition is to put on a performance that makes the audience entertained. We know that is the key to winning this competition. This year we have an entirely new team. Only four of us on the current team have even competed in this dance circuit before. There’s a stigma in our dance circuit that new teams and new members take time to learn the ropes of putting on these Bollywood fusion productions, but we could not be more impressed and proud of the group of people we got and that stuck it out this year. We know that this team requires an excessive amount of time commitment and it forces us to utilize our greatest weakness as college students: prioritization. We are so excited to show off the hard work our team has put in because, after four years in this circuit, I can definitely say that it is something that doesn’t come around often.
Q: Why is this the first competition?
A: Competition lineups are based on application videos that are sent in during the fall semester. All production based competitions are held in the spring semester, typically around February and March followed by the national championship in April. In our dance circuit, there are bid-competitions and non-bid competitions. To be eligible for the championship, you have to be accepted into at least two of the 14 bid-competitions.
It’s definitely difficult to get accepted into these competitions because you are sending your video into a pool of around 50-100 other team videos and competitions generally only accept 7-12 teams in a lineup. We are competing in two competitions and while they’re not bid-competitions they are not any less difficult. Teams throughout the country all apply for bid and non-bid competitions so the caliber is always high. This is our first competition of the season and our next one is in April.