The Anubhav team of Northwestern University, which won another national championship at this year’s Legends Bollywood Dance Championship.
LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Northwestern University’s dance team Anubhav were crowned champions at the 2017 rendition of California’s Legends Bollywood Dance Championship, marking the group’s third win in a national championship in the last four years.
In addition to taking first overall, Anubhav was also recognized for best choreography, best costumes and best male lead. Ushasi Naha, a captain of the team, told The Daily Northwestern she was elated to see her teammates hard work pay off.
“We have had a pretty successful season, so we’re really happy about that, but Nationals is always a whole new ballgame,” the senior said. “We really didn’t have any kind of expectations, so winning was truly a dream.”
Anubhav also won a different national championship, Bollywood America, last year and in 2014. Each year, the team creates a seven to eight minute story that encompasses a variety of dances and songs. This performance is then repeated at the various regional competitions and national championships.
The group focuses its shows on themes that can spread awareness or have an impact on South Asian and other immigrant populations, said Hetal Patel, creative director and founding member of Anubhav. This year, the team chose to do an adaptation of “Life of Pi” to present a narrative of the struggles and perseverance of immigrants in light of the “anti-immigrant rhetoric” of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“We all sort of felt a sense of purpose and responsibility as Asian Americans and as second-generation immigrants,” Patel said. “We were sort of hoping to take ‘Life of Pi’ as an abstract and symbolic way to reclaim and tell this narrative about immigrants that’s been sort of taken away from us recently.”
Patel said the show gives Anubhav the opportunity to spread its message to a larger audience. In addition to performing in front of a large, live crowd, the group’s performance is also featured on YouTube. One of the team’s previous performances has nearly 100,000 views, she said.