Andaaz dances to Bollywood America

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Andaaz, ASU’s Bollywood dance team, makes their way to North America’s Filmi-Fusion International Dance Championship: Bollywood America. Lucky for Andaaz they don’t have far to go, as the competition will be held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

Teams have the chance to win their spot at Bollywood America by taking first place at one of the eleven competitions throughout the country. Andaaz took first at the Infusion competition just one month ago, and received their bid to attend Bollywood America on April 25. 

Since then, the team has been practicing nonstop.

Co-captain Suhas Athrey says, “As it gets closer to competition, we have practice on a daily basis. Practice starts at around 8 [p.m.], and we go all the way until like 11. If it demands we go on until like 2, 3, 4 in the morning.”

The teams are judged in four different categories at Bollywood America. 

First, the team must exceed the Technical Criteria category, which is worth 30 points total. Judging is based on aspects such as their dynamic movements, range of difficulty, originality, synchronization, presentation of movements, and use of space and formations.

The Film-Fusion Elements category is worth 20 points. This category includes the introduction video, the final sequence, costumes, music, special effects, stunts, and the overall theme.

The third category is worth 10 points and is called the Stage Presence and Spirit section, where teams are judged on their energy and expressions. 

The final category is the Overall Impression section. This section looks for a “wow” factor. It awards 40 points to first place and 20 points to second place.

Andaaz will be competing against other collegiate teams as well as professional teams from across the country.

Although this is Andaaz’s first time making it to Bollywood America, they know that all teams must possess a special level of dedication and creativity to even make it to the competition — and they say they feel quite honored to be invited. 

Co-Captain Mayuri Gupta says they picked the Hindi name “Andaaz” because it means “a unique style” in English.

“We chose our name because we would like to portray some kind of a unique style on stage, and have our own unique identity,” Gupta says. “We hope that people will be able to see that in our routine.”

 “This year is special because we’re representing all of Arizona, and the competition is actually happening in Arizona,” team manager Oshada Silva says. “People should come out and support us because Bollywood America won’t be back in downtown Phoenix for a very long time, and we just really want to go out there and represent ASU really well.”

After meeting this energetic, dedicated team, and catching a mere glimpse of how hard they work, one can definitely see why the competition is often described as “the superbowl of dance.”

For more information on Bollywood America and where to purchase tickets, visit bollywoodamerica.org.

Reach the writer at amgonz48@asu.edu.


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