We are less than 1 week away from Bruin Bhangra 2012. My last post (My History with Bruin Bhangra) touched upon my history with Bruin Bhangra but did not go into much about this year’s competition. This post will focus on that as well as a few of my thoughts on Bhangra Empire’s status for Bruin Bhangra. As I write this, some team members are packing and getting ready to head to Southern California. Since the competition isn’t until Sunday, some people leave tomorrow, others leave Friday, and a few leave on Saturday. You might be wondering when I will be leaving. Well, unfortunately, I will not be leaving. As you might have read in a previous post (A Changing of the Guard) my involvement with the team’s preparation for Bruin has been limited. And while the team will be enjoying a weekend in Socal (and hopefully performing well), I will be stuck on campus Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, working on my Capstone paper (gotta love business school).
So most of you might be wondering how Empire is doing. Well, I’ve been involved a little more than expected. I knew this would happen to a certain extent. It’s hard to do a temporary transition in leadership in such a short time. But the team has been putting in their best effort. And I come around and contribute when I can. It’s not the most ideal situation. But this is the real world and there rarely is an ideal situation. Most of the time you have to make do with what you have. I’ve been to the last few practices and everything is slowly but surely coming together. Last night was the team’s last practice before heading out, so hopefully, all the last minute stuff that pops up has been taken care of. Below is a quick breakdown of different elements of the routine and my thoughts on how they turned out:
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the greatest mixer out there. There are a ton of people that are very talented when it comes to making mixes. I’ll even go as far as saying that I don’t like mixing in general. But I like mixing for Bhangra Empire (if that makes sense). Why, you might ask? Because it gives me 100% control choreo wise. It allows our mixes to 100% compliment our routines. The Bruin mix is solid. It’s not the craziest mix you’ll hear. But our mixes are never like that. Our mixes focus on cleanliness and not confusing the listener. And this mix is clean, but I do think if I had more time, it could have been better. I could have added a few more creative aspects, but I definitely think that the mix is on par with previous Empire mixes.
It usually takes me a good amount of time to put together new segments of a routine. I take a lot of time figuring out how to get in and out the new segments cleanly. And then I tweak choreo over and over until it seems just right. This time, due to my schedule constraints, the process was different. The team decided what segments to replace (I did give my opinion to them but in the end it was their decision). We chose the new songs and then the choreo started. I came to a couple of practices and ran through some ideas, and we finalized choreo together. It was much quicker than how we normally do it, but surprisingly, it turned out really good. The routine is definitely a crowd pleaser and probably one of the most entertaining routines we’ve ever had. Is it Bhangra Empire’s best routine? Well, that depends on execution. Because execution is what makes a good routine, great.
I’m going to be honest here. Since before Jashan, there seems to be a lack of focus as a whole from the team. I can’t figure it out exactly, but that motivation and desire that we had before London and Boston, seems to be missing. Don’t get me wrong, the team has put in tons of time and hard work practicing. But for one reason or another, some people just aren’t as focused as they used to be. Part of that could be attributed to my absence, I guess, but even when I’m there, that fire that I once saw to get better isn’t there. That being said, I’m probably one of Empire’s harshest critics. So, I could be just too close to the situation. I will say this: I’ve seen flashes of it. The ability of each of our dancers to push themselves and perform at 150%. The ability to go out there and kill it for 8 minutes. The ability to execute every aspect of the routine nearly flawlessly. But the consistency is lacking. Some run-throughs are amazing with everybody going hard. While other run-throughs are not so good. That inconsistency is scary because it is almost like there are 2 teams. Team A, which goes out there and dances its heart out and leaves everything on stage. And Team B that just goes through the motions for 8 minutes. The question is, which one of these teams will show up to Bruin Bhangra on Sunday? At this point I’m not sure. But hopefully the adrenaline and the audience brings out Team A. Because each one of our dancers deserve it. They’ve all worked hard enough and put in enough time and they deserve the right to perform well. But, it’s all in their own hands now. I do believe, that if Team A shows up on Sunday, and executes everything cleanly, this could be one of Bhangra Empire’s best performances of all time. But then again, I can be a little biased. =)
And that wraps up my Bruin Bhangra Bhangra Empire update. I know I mentioned that I would do a pre-competition analysis on all the teams, but that will have to wait. As of now, I need to go back to focusing on the midterm I have in less than 12 hours. Good luck to all the teams coming out to Bruin Bhangra, and good luck to each and every member of Bhangra Empire. You guys have put in the time, now its time to shine. (Okay that was a little too cheesy).
Lastly, if you are in the LA area, make sure you get tickets to the show. It will be held at the Saban Theater this Sunday. You definitely won’t regret it. It’s probably going to be one of the best shows of the year and Bruin has been known to the be the competition where teams pull out all the stops. I’m definitely anticipating hearing about things that have never been done before and in the end, it is things like that that make a competition worth going to. Tickets can be purchased on the Official Bruin Bhangra Website. And remember to bring an Empire sign and get a FREE Bhangra Empire Tshirt. I’ll leave you guys with our shout out video for Bruin Bhangra in case you hadn’t seen it yet.