For those who’re wondering what this Desi sounding name – Midwest Dhamaka was…, it was a Bollywood fusion dance competition held by folks of the University Of Cincinnati, at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Cincinnati.
How did I know about it? Well I’ve friends you know! Okay, one of my colleagues here is a part of the organizers, and one helluva dancer in the UC Dhadak team.
So we reached the place at around 17:45 hours and like they said, parking your car in downtown Cincinnati is quite a skill you’ve to have. Well we got lucky you see. We got in to see many Americanized ‘Indian’ faces, chatting away with a practiced American accent! And perhaps, we saw more of the locals than I thought. The registration was a breeze, we met more friends from office as a sumptuous Indian vegetarian dinner waited. I should mention the yummy Gulaab jamun and the Methi Paneer!
As we walked into the auditorium, a pretty lady showed us where our seats could be (well there were VIPs to be seated in the middle seats, uh this happens everywhere!). The show was to begin at 1900hrs and astonishingly enough, it did start right on time! (Oh yea that’s astonishing to my Indian timing sensibilities :-p). The show were to have 8 teams to dance in the first round (seven minutes for each team). Click to know the teams.
I don’t know if I’d write about each of the teams and their performances here, but what was strikingly impressive to me in the first round were Gator Adaa, Genesis, Ehsaas, Dhoom, Chankaar, Manzil, Nassa and Deeva. Well that was pretty much everyone!! I mean it. I was blown away by the effort, the creativity, the energy and the charm the dancers threw around. I particularly loved the moves by Genesis and the costumes & theme that Deeva presented, yea and the ladies were very pretty too!
Most of the themes included a video-prologue to introduce the team and set the tone.
What was more interesting to see was the kind of mix these teams had, Asians, Americans and I’m not sure if there were more, but all of them seemed to be as comfortable with the Bollywood moves as they were with hip-hop. In fact most of the moves felt like free style. I got to see some acrobatics too. These guys are not any less than professional dancers I thought. At the end of the first round, I was (I guess most of the audience was) not at all okay with Manzil not being through to the second round. The competition allowed for a wild card entry. It was an easy decision, they were in.
Well then was the time for what I was waiting to see – the UC Dhadak. Since these guys were a part of the organizing team, they were not in competition but theirs was an Exhibition show. They did their 7minute gig in style. They had a National Treasure style ‘retrieve-a-gem’ theme that followed through the dance. Superb performance!
The second round was rather quick, 2minutes per team and they did their best to one tune (Muqabla) that seemed to be a part of most teams’ audio.
Talking of the audio, though the lighting in the auditorium was good, I really felt the sound was technically inadequate. Meaning, it could be controlled lot better. There was enough power but most of the time it was out of balance to the point of annoyance. I felt…If only I was there to control it. I’m a sound freak and I cant stand bad sound reproduction anywhere. I feel its an injustice to the art of creating music. Huh! I can go length to length talking about it. Not here!
As the judges took their time for the results, the teams that did not get to the second round too did their 2minuts on stage, and they sure shined.
In all, the Midwest Dhamaka was a pulsating success. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I’m sure the competition is here to stay. Congratulations to the organizers and all the participating teams.
And yes, the winners –
1st – Genesis – Ohio State University
2nd – Deeva Dance Troupe – Northwestern University
3rd – Chankaar – Boston University
Please share your views in the comments section.
1. I have uploaded a few videos I shot at the show and have them up on youtube. I can share the links, let me know.
2. This post is purely my own view of the show. The text/links/photographs/videos are not intended to violate any copyrights or intellectual property. Please contact me in case of any objections.