Bhangra Empire – Bruin Bhangra 2009 – Rehearsal Video

While writing yesterday’s topic on Competition Day Preparation, I checked back in my video archive to see if I could find some old rehearsal videos. I was able to find one from Bruin Bhangra 2009 and decided to upload it to YouTube.

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Preparation – Competition Day

This will be my first reply to a topic request. Thank you to everybody for their requests and hopefully I can get to everybody soon. This one comes from one of our fans in Canada:

What type of preparations do you make on the day of a performance? 

Our preparation for a competition really starts the day before. Like I posted in an earlier blog, I really like to avoid practicing the full week before a competition. I do want people rested, but at the same time, don’t want people to forget the routine. To prevent this, we always schedule a walkthrough of the routine the day before a performance. This refreshes the routine for everybody and lets us work out any last minute details.

Bhangra Empire - Boston Bhangra 2010 Mixer

Bhangra Empire @ Boston Bhangra 2010 Mixer

There usually is a mixer/pre-party the day before the competition as well. This is a great place to meet new people, have a good time, and just relax. However, we do have some pretty strict rules regarding pre-parties. There is absolutely no drinking, and we do have a time that everybody has to sleep by. Now some of you might say, wait, you do this for fun right? Why the strict rules? To answer that, yes we do, but we have found that we have more fun when we perform well. That is our number one goal and the rules help ensure that we achieve that goal.

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It’s a New Empire

Before I start, credit to the post title goes to Sophia, whose Facebook status I jacked.  If you remember from my earlier blog, we recently had tryouts to add members to the team. Today, we have our first team dinner with the new team. Another chapter in the story of Bhangra Empire begins.

The New Empire

The New Empire

Don’t worry, the picture here is not our new logo. But it is amazing that you can type pretty much anything into Google image search and come up with something. Back to our dinner tonight. So this will be the first time the new people will meet the team officially. These dinners are always fun. First impressions are made (which are usually completely opposite of how the person actually is). I also like them because I can usually get enough ammunition to make fun of a person for the rest of the year (don’t worry, I’m laughing with them, not at them.) Last year we added 8 new people. This year we are adding 7 new people. Returners who played the rookie role last year will have to step up this year and become veterans. Continue reading

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Where Do You Choreograph?

This one is for all the choreographers out there. No matter what style of dance you may do, at the end of the day, somebody has to come up with the routine, think of ideas, and make them work. Before I started choreographing, I would always picture it being done in a dance studio with the music playing. What I found out once I started doing it was, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Eminem 8 Mile

Eminem - 8 Mile

For those that have seen Eminem’s movie 8 Mile, I relate it most to his character. Specifically, the train scene where he is writing down ideas and notes as he sees things. It sends the message that what he does is always on his mind. It never ends. The same is true for me when I am trying to come up with Bhangra Empire’s next routine. People on the team have heard me say, many times, that practice never ends for me. This is because the routine is always on my mind. How can I make it better? What can I change to make it cleaner? What can I add to make it more entertaining? Will the formations work? So this got me thinking, where do I choreograph? The high level answer is everywhere. But if I had to choose 3 places where I get most of my choreography done, they would be as follows: Continue reading

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Empire Practices – Where 12 Dancers Become 1 Team

So in an earlier post, “What makes a good team?” I referred to how important I think practices are. I also got some questions about my AI comment and what it meant. Poonam, with her engineer mind, thought I was referring to Artificial Intelligence.


You talkin' about practice?

I was actually referring to Allen Iverson and his practice outburst. For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, you must really not be into sports. Let me enlighten you with this video. No discussion about practice is complete without the infamous words, ‘You talkin’ about practice?”

Ok, so back to practice. What do we do at practice? How are practices run? How much do we practice? All questions I plan to answer. A lot of this will not only be specific to bhangra, but also running any sort of team. Continue reading

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Harleen and Jasbir – Singers on the Rise

Earlier today, I saw Jasbir had released another song called Akhiyaan. You can have a listen to it on youtube. Its a slower song which I have always thought fits Jasbir’s voice really well. It got me thinking about Jasbir and Harleen and their time on Empire, so I thought I’d share a bit about each of them. You can find them here as they teamed up for a duet at Giant Bhangra 2007 along with our dholi, Raveen Bains.

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Bhangra Empire – Vest Dropping Across North America

What is a vest drop? Well, simply put, its a certain time in our routines when the guys on the team drop their vests. Each guy would have a letter on his back and would be positioned in a way to spell something out. Maybe a picture would help…

Bhangra Empire @ Golden State Warriors Game

Bhangra Empire @ Golden State Warriors Game

This really became a fixture in our routines because it was a great way to interact with the audience and sometimes show some love for where we were performing.

So how was the vest drop born? Well, it was back in January of 2008. We were 1 week before Punjabi Showdown and had no ending. We didn’t want to do a stunt, because we had the tendency to drop those at the end (See Bhangra Nation West 2007.) We also didn’t really want to go down the sign route again because of what went on to be called the infamous ERPIWE mistake (See Dhol Di Awaz 2007)

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