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South Asian Showdown A Smashing Success

Nirmala Garimella

The excitement was palpable. Crowds filled in at the John Hancock hall much in advance of the show on February 20th and the air of expectancy was visible. Fittingly, South Asian showdown delivered with  high energy pulsating dance performances and a fierce competition, the first of its kind in North America with Bhangra teams vs Fusion teams vs Garba/Raas teams vs Hindi-Film/Bollywood teams.

Twelve teams from all over the country participated for the competition. Throughout the show there was a people choice award by which the audience could text in their favorite team which made the show very involved for all. Harish Dang, of Sounds of India who was at the event remarked that the response and the dances on stage were astounding. The show started at 6.30pm with the Boston Bhangra junior team opening with Bhangra to toe tapping high energy music.

Creative Choreography, perfect synchronization, imaginative formations and colorful and glittering costumes with elaborate stage settings all added to the glamor and excitement on stage. DJ Tarang Gosalia, master of ceremonies kept the conversation and the excitement going as he introduced each team and their pre video clip to the audience.

The overall first prize was awarded to UCLA Nashaa team and the prizes for each category were:

- Bhangra: CMU Chak De
- Fusion: Broadstreet Badshaahz
- Garba/Raas: UMD EntouRaas
- Hindi-Film: UCLA Nashaa
- Overall Winner: UCLA Nashaa

-People Choice Award – New York University Pandemonium team.

The concept of Showdown according to Rohit Bhambi, one of the core organizers was to present the best dance teams from each South Asian genre and prizes for the best to be awarded for every category.   Whether it was vibrant Bhangra, folk dance from the Punjab region of India or creative Fusion  a conglomeration of all South Asian dance or the delightful  Garba/Raas a folk dance from the Gujarat region of India and Hindi-Film/Bollywood the dance form originating from the Bollywood film industry in Mumbai, the audience that filled the 1000 seated hall were thrilled to the core.

To add even more excitement to the event, there was a very unique performance from Omar Rajpute of California as Prince of Pop  who  impersonated Michael Jackson to perfection. Bollywood Grill churned out delicious samosas for the hungry attendees. The show was advertised on Pan Desi!and will  be airing the show on television by April, 2010 nationally across North America! Pan Desi, Taj Hotels, and Bollywood Grill were some of the bigger sponsors that helped to make this show a reality and Amit Bhambi thanked them profusely as well as the other sponsors for making it a success. Later many gathered for an all night party at the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel with a celebration. Judging from the audience and the feedback from the community it was a smashing success.

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