Here's a review of the performances. I’m more interested in fusion than bhangra, so my review of the bhangra teams is probably a little sparse, sorry!
5th Avenue Bhangra
This was an exhibition act with around 8 people on the team, I think. The MCs mentioned that the team was new, and they were a nice little opening although they have a significant amount of work to do in terms of formations, expressions, and general stage presence. It was probably one of their first performances.
Their theme was James Bond/007, which was a cool theme for an all girls' team. Their intro video was cool, and they attempted a few stunts. They were rather messy all around, though, and their song selections could've been significantly better. I remember they did Race and 4 Minutes, both of which are old songs at this point, so that was weird. They need to work more on coordination and synchronization as well. I saw facial expressions slipping throughout the routine, and it generally seemed like they were a new team that wasn’t very used to performing on the fusion circuit. They did do some cool stuff, like a very small tutting section and I think they also included some dubstep in their mix, but I don't remember much of their performance, which is probably a bad sign.
CMU Chak De
I legitimately don’t remember any part of this performance, and I had to step out for a little bit, so I don’t have a review for this team.
Their routine was a good, standard bhangra routine. Their formations were generally on, their expressions were generally good, and their performance was neither amazing nor awful - in order to give their routine that extra oomph, they probably need a few gimmicks or something memorable that will make them stand out in a sea of bhangra teams. Every dancer seemed into the routine, and their facial expressions (nakhra) was good, so they had that going for them.
UVA di Shaan
Their routine was in a league above the other teams in the bhangra category. Their formations were extremely on point, their song selection was memorable - loved their inclusion of the new Culture Shock Legal Tender mixtape - and every single dancer looked like they were putting in 100%. One or two dancers lost energy towards the end, but overall the cleanliness of their routine, the cool formation changes they did, and their general stage presence made them a shoo-in for the bhangra win.
Jhoom at VCU
They were an exhibition act that did some popular songs. They were definitely not competition level - I think they were a new team - but they were cute and seemed to be having fun on stage. I don't have much else to say.
Radek, I did some more detail on this routine just for you! Lol.
There were some clear technical problems at the beginning of the routine – they started playing the routine that Sharaara was actually going to perform, I think, and some of the dancers and UVA’s people in the audience were yelling at the MCs to stop playing that video. In the end, they didn’t play an intro video at all and just started the performance, but the performance started off with Peter Pan on stage.
This was the standout routine of the night. Despite the technical problems at the beginning of the show, every single Sharaara girl brought her 100% to the performance. Energy exploded on stage even with the very first song (I forget what it was, but it was a remix with a South Indian song). The audience was cheering for them nearly the entire time. They had a bunch of characters and a Kolaveri Di gimmick between Peter Pan and Captain Hook that was hilarious. Their standout gimmick was their stepping section, which was just SICK. The audience went crazy at the end of that section. Sharaara was also the only team to do classical well, and their classical choreography to Mr. Saxobeat was creative and enjoyable even for someone with no classical background. Their ending stunt was sick, I’ve never seen a girls team do that before. Every girl had facial expressions ON the whole time, and they were a shoo-in for the fusion win as much as UVA Bhangra was in their category.
Their theme was Red Riding Hood, and their intro video was extremely well done. Their costumes were gorgeous, and I particularly loved the costume for Red Riding Hood herself, which looked straight out of illustrations of the story. They weren’t really a co-ed team because there were significantly fewer guys than girls, and most of the solo dancing went to the girls, but they did some stunts that were SICK. I particularly liked the pyramids with Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood on top fighting. Their formation changes were sometimes off, but mostly their facial expressions were on the whole time. Their song selection could have been better, I don’t know why both they and CMU Tanah did Race, but I liked their inclusion of Ooh La La. Theirs was a comfortable, well-done, well-choreographed routine, and they would’ve had a very strong shot at the trophy for fusion if Sharaara hadn’t just wowed the audience.
William and Mary Dhamaal
Obviously the home team, and so they had a ton of cheering the whole time from the audience. Their routine was cute, but normal – like CMU Chak De, I don’t remember much of the specifics of their routine other than that some people’s facial expressions sometimes dropped. They should work on energy, too, some people looked like they were bored to be there.
Prizes went to UVA di Shaan and UVA Sharaara, both very well deserved.