Courtesy of Jazba Entertainment
Jazba Entertainment_Case Kismat
Bollywood-Fusion competition team, Case Kismat, competing at Jazba 2016.
Instead of ballet companies on point or crooning singers, on Feb. 25 Northrop Auditorium's stage will come alive with the Bollywood-Fusion competition Jazba. Picture seeing eight different dance styles in eight minutes, or hearing the beats of American hip hop, Ed Sheeran, and Major Lazer mixing with the sounds of Bollywood. Different props help tell the stories that are a pillar of every routine, as lighthearted as Dragon Ball Z, or as serious as domestic assault. Needless to say, it’s a lot to describe to people who hadn’t heard of the style before, which is why University of Minnesota student Anish Chandak founded the competition in the first place.
“Instead of saying it’s cool,” Chandak says, “I can show you it’s cool.”
In Jazba’s third year, 39 competitive teams applied for 10 spots, and the qualifiers are coming from states as far as California and New York. The winning team receives $1,500 and points that help it qualify for the Bollywood America and Legends national championship circuits, and the audience gets a night of much-needed Bollywood-Fusion.
“Jazba’s really unique in the sense that it’s the first time that Minneapolis has seen something like this,” says Shyamlee Nanda, the current executive director of Jazba Entertainment. Although community and student attendance has been high, she hopes to show even more newcomers what Bollywood-Fusion really is.
During the inaugural competition, Jazba 2015, the show sold out Ted Mann Hall, filling approximately 1,100 seats and hauling out TV screens for the 75 or so people who stuck it out in the lobby. The next year, it moved to Northrop Auditorium, where more than 2,200 attended. Dance seems to bring everyone together, and the student group who runs Jazba has helped raise more than $13,000 in the past two years for Women In Need, its nonprofit partner that provides healthcare and support to women in Southeast Asia.
At the end of the competition, all of the teams, the sponsors, the judges, the student board, the liaisons—close to 300 people—go on stage together. The audience, which has been cheering throughout every routine, is going crazy in anticipation of the winner. In that instant, everyone’s happy, caught up in the euphoria that is Jazba’s Bollywood-Fusion.
Jazba. Feb. 25. Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis. 612-624-2345 (Northrop Box Office), jazbamn.com.