It’s Saturday November 18th, 2006 and Bhangra Nation is about to start for the 10th time. As one of the founders of North America’s premiere Bhangra and Dhol (traditional drum) competitions, I was proud to see that 10 years later, the spirit still lives on. Furthermore, we continued to have the support of our loyal and long-time sponsors: Payal Banquet Halls, Canada Power Products, the Voice and National Video Lab. Joining us for the first time on a national level were Telus and President’s Choice foods.
14 Teams competed in the following categories: Best Traditional (live music only, simply vocals, the dhol and some auxillary instruments like the Algoja (a flute), Best Freestyle (pre-recorded bhangra tracks were used as the backbeat), Best Male Dancer, Best Female Dancer and Best Dressed Team. The grand prize for the Best Traditional and Best Freestyle were $5,000 to the winning teams.
MCs for the evening were City TV Toronto’s Nalini Sharma, Star TV’s Husein Madhavji and OmniTV’s Sarabjeet Singh.
And the winner’s are:
- Gurman Folk Dance Academy all the way from Barnala, India
- Nachdi Jiwani, Toronto
- Rooh Punjab Di, Toronto
- Shaan-e Punjab, Toronto
- Bulldawg da Raag, University of Georgia Co-Ed Team (note: 4 of the dancers were not even of an Indian descent)
- Bhangra Beats Co-Ed team, Abbotsford, BC
Best Male Dancer: Tejinder Singh, Gurman (India)
Best Female Dancer: Mira from Bulldawg. She learned bhangra in 3 months and is not even east-indian. Wow!
Best Dressed Team: Nachdi Jiwani, Toronto
A special thanks to BC Cultural Group who travelled to Toronto from Vancity.
Balwinder Safri came from England to perform and DJ Amita rocked the house with a few tunes.
The BN executives were proud to announce that with the support of the Ontario and federal governments to the tune of $100,000 over 3 years, BN will be able to open a free dance studio in Brampton where anyone of any age or background may come in to learn bhangra, giddha, the dhol or other instruments used in the art. Proceeds from ticket sales will also be directed towards this endeavour as BN is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art of bhangra and punjabi culture across Canada.
Finally, BN has the esteemed honour and sole authority to assemble an offficial university-level bhangra team representing Canada (Team Bhangra Nation), who will participate in 3 intercollegiate bhangra competitions in the Punjab this October….all expenses sponsored by Guru Nanak Dev University. Talk about WOW!
Stay tuned for: the release of the official Bhangra Nation LP produced by Sahib-G in England from MusicWaves and ofcourse…more details on BN West!