Rangila 2014: A Preview

Rangila Preview

For the past two decades, the South Asian Society has hosted Rangila, a massively popular event showcasing a variety of South Asian dances, performed and choreographed exclusively by students. This year, for Georgetown’s 20th Rangila show, the event is taking place for one night only in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Naturally, tickets sold out quickly in Red Square last week. The event’s central mission, in addition to allowing students to dance their hearts out, is fundraising for the Pritnam Spiritual Foundation, which provides medical care to people injured in the India-Pakistan conflict.

4E’s staff interviewed choreographers from this year’s Rangila dances to get their thoughts about Rangila XX Rewind. Read them below! (Special thanks to Aakash Bhatia, VP of the Georgetown South Asian Society, for helping us with this post.)

Afrofusion 

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

It’s a mix of Caribbean/African dance and Indian dance. It’s high energy and our dancers are really dedicated.

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

TIGER. RAAAAWWWR.

What’s your favorite song to dance to? 

Dhoom!!

-Bhavya Jha (COL ’17)

Bollywood Remix

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Bollywood Remix is a dance that embodies the fun and colorful flavor of Indian cinema! My favorite part of the dance usually ranges from the colors and the costumes to the moves (I’ve been a Bollywood dancer myself for 17 years), but this year is special because my favorite part is definitely my dancers.

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

According to some extensive spirit animal research, I think our dance would be best identified with the bear. Bears are compassionate and loving towards their companions, and Bollywood couples are always sure to find their own Rangilove story through our dance!

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

Throughout the dance overall, there’s been a lot of love (from both sections) for the song “Iski Uski.” It wasn’t originally a song I loved as much as my co-choreographer did, but over time it grew on me and now I can’t imagine our dancers showing off their true filmy skills without it!

-Noreen Sajwani (NHS ’15)

Bulldog Bhangra

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Bhangra is a traditional dance from the Punjab region of India. It’s very high energy and fast-paced which makes it a lot of fun to practice and perform.

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

A bulldog!

What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?

We’ll be wearing traditional costumes which include chaattar for men and chunnis for women.

-Priya Bhaidaswala (MSB ’17)

Classical Fusion

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Classical Fusion is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a can’t fail combo – traditional and graceful Indian dance which has existed for centuries and has very spiritual origins, mixed with powerful and sassy modern moves. Being able to enjoy the best of both worlds has been really fun for me!

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

Leopard: Ferocious and beautiful and graceful

What kind of fundraiser is your group doing to benefit the Pritnam Spiritual Foundation?

Many of our girls are on this year’s Rangila committee and have been responsible for organizing flower sales, candygrams and a Shophouse fundraiser for the entire Rangila community.

-Mariam Matin (COL ’15)

Desi Beat

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Desi Beat is a hip-hop Indian fusion piece that combines popular hip-hop moves with Bollywood-inspired Indian moves. My favorite part about this dance is that it truly is the best of both worlds. Desi Beat merges popular Eastern and Western culture into one fantastic dance that encapsulates the whole point of this wonderful show: cultural diversity. My favorite styles of dance are hip-hop and Bollywood and I love being able to share these worlds with my fellow Georgetown peers, who are brave and curious enough to be a part of such an experience.

What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?

Our dancers this year will be sporting stylish harem pants with fresh kicks. The boys will be showing some swag with cool hats and our ladies will be channeling their inner Beyoncé with a Flawless-inspired costume.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

Personally, my favorite song to dance to anything that requires shaking my booty, but if I had to choose, it’s a tie between “Don’t Tell Em” by Jeremih, “Red Nose” by Sage the Gemini, and “Bole Chudiyan” from the Bollywood movie Khabi Khushi Khabi Gham.

-Sana Imam (COL ’15)

Folk

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

This year’s Folk performance will showcase the lively traditions of Rajasthan from the villages of Northern India. Our Folk Stars will bring the vibrant colors, traditional music and unique props of this region to life.
What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?
To stay within the tradition of past Rangila Folk dances, the boys will be wearing green pants with a blue vest for the top. These same costumes have been used the past few years. Girls will be wearing traditional Indian clothing with headscarves. The big differentiator in Folk is our props as we use a variety of them including staffs, pots and finger scarves. Out of all the dances in the show, Folk uses the most props making it a very unique dance in the show.
What kind of fundraiser is your group doing to benefit the Pritnam Spiritual Foundation?
Our dance was a big participant in the candygram fundraiser the South Asian Society hosted. Several of our members even bought candygrams for all 30 of our dancers. Colin Mack in particular deserves credit for leading this initiative for our dance.
-Aakash Bhatia (MSB ’16)

Garba Pulse

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Garba is a form of dance that originated in the state of Gujurat. It is traditionally performed during the nine-day Hindu festival of Navaratri and is performed in a circle as a symbol of the Hindu view on time. Garba Pulse, our Rangila dance, is a fusion of this traditional dance with modern Bollywood.

What what is your group’s spirit animal?

White tigers because we’re graceful and sassy.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

Garba loves to get Fancy, just like our girl Iggy.

-Revathi Maturi (COL ’15)

Old School

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Old School is the best combination of flare, romance, nostalgia and fun that any Rangila dance style offers. The songs are all from our childhood, dating back to any time before 2003. That’s what really makes it exciting – we all have some connection to the music but have the liberty to use modern choreography to use old music in a contemporary way. Who wouldn’t love to do cheesy Bollywood dips and funky old-school Beyoncé hip-hop all in one dance?

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

There really isn’t one spirit animal to describe our bunch – we’re somewhere in between a tiger cub on the brink of adulthood and an unenthused male stripper. Wait until you see “Hot in Here” and you’ll understand.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

That’s an unfair question – we put this mix together with all our favorite songs so it’s going to be tough to decide. I think our personal favorites are both our couples’ sections and the finale too. When our different sections are on stage together, you can really see the chemistry and oldskoollove.

-Kritasha Gupta (COL ’15)

Raas

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Raas takes a lot of skill and is all high energy. Dancing with the dandiyas (sticks) can be a challenge, but it’s so much fun in the end being able to do cool tricks with them. What makes the past couple of months so great has been working with my friends in making the most explosive and fun dance there can be.

What’s your group’s spirit animal?

An anaconda.

What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?

We’ve got some sick Gujarati costumes. I won’t spoil too much about the colors, but it will be a nice throwback to one of the best Raas performances I have ever seen.

-Matt Chan (COL ’15)

Salsa Masala

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

We do Salsa Masala—a South Asian-Latin fusion. It is a big dance with everything from Garba to Salsa. We as choreographers love the beats that we get to use and living up to our name as the “spiciest” dance gives us that moon to shoot for.

What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?

Girls have a mix of skirts, tops and dresses. Boys have harem pants, a vest … and no shirts.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

Right now? “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias for sure.

-Shantel Jairam (MSB ’15)

Senior Bhangra

Can you explain your group’s style of dance and what you enjoy most about it?

Bhangra is a high-energy dance style that originated in the state of Punjab in North India.  Since Bhangra is a traditional dance form, it has technique that the 6 choreographers have learned (all of us have been on Jawani during our Georgetown careers as well) and have taught to our dancers, but also has room for some creativity, in terms of adapting moves within the general technical framework.  My favorite part is that it’s a fantastic workout.  You spend two hours having fun teaching a dance form that you enjoy performing — and you get an automatic workout! (Note: Senior Bhangra is comprised of 150 seniors, all of whom have participated in Rangila previously.)

What costumes will your group be wearing for the performance?

One section’s spirit animal is the coyote – they put their middle & ring fingers together over their thumb (with the pointer & pinky fingers sticking up) and it looks like a coyote (really, more like a llama). They make this symbol and put their hand up every time they need to be quiet during practice.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

One of my sections is ending with a remixed version of “Bang Bang” that we love, while my other section (with captains from NSO, and apparently this was basically their anthem this year) is dancing to the very catchy “Shower“.

-Chinmayee Venkatraman (NHS ’15)

Thanks so much to all of the choreographers! Good luck to everyone involved!

Check out the Facebook event to find out any last-minute information for the event. And if you’re a ticket-holder, we’ll see you at the Kennedy Center on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. for what is sure to be the greatest Rangila yet!

Bloggers: DJ Angelini, Sara Carioscia, Griffin Greco, Elizabeth Harvey, Meg Lizza, Catherine McNally, Emily Min, Kyle Murphy, Michaela Murphy, Alexis Oni-Eseleh, Cristina Serra, Max Wheeler

Photos: Facebook

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