Students to perform at Bollywood America Championship

Saturday, April 9 at the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square, the 11 best college filmi-fusion dance teams will go head to head in the prestigious Bollywood America (BA) Championship. This year the competition will be even more exciting as Case Western Reserve University’s own fusion team, Case Kismat, will be competing for the first time and both Dhamakapella and Case Western Nritya will be performing at the competition.

Bollywood America is the non-profit Bollywood Filmi-Fusion Dance Championship. Since 2010 the group has selected premier college-level teams from across North America to compete for filmi-fusion prestige.

This year there were two different ways to qualify for the final competition: the first six teams won a specified auto-bid competition and the final five received the highest average point score over the course of the competition season. The new selection format is an update from previous years, when 10 teams received an auto bid and the last spot a management chosen pick, and the new format has brought a diverse group of talented teams. “We believe that this year’s lineup is a truly talented group of teams and are beyond excited to see what they have to bring to our competition this year,” says Huda Aziz, general board assistant of BA.

Eleven teams from around the country are competing this year, including Case Kismat. Teams will perform in a random order determined the Friday night before the show, “to ensure fairness to all teams,” Aziz said. Throughout the competition other teams will be presenting exhibition routines, adding some variety to the night.

The participation of CWRU groups is adding to the anticipation this year. Case Kismat began four years ago and competes on the collegiate circuit as a coed fusion dance team and engages in philanthropic efforts to benefit the Women in Need organization and the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project. The group qualified for BA after winning the Jazba competition in Minneapolis, MN.

“It is bittersweet and will make Kismat’s founders’ and dance members’ dream come to life,” said Peyton Tatonetti, the dance team’s treasurer.

“Our main goal has always been to touch the audience and immerse them in a performance that makes them feel, think and reflect on their lives,” said co-captain Arvind Kumar Haran. “If we can do this, we will have achieved our ultimate goal, regardless of whether we place or not. That’s all we will say for now: You’ll have to come to the show to find out.”

Members of the team share more than just a dance routine. “Sad, angry and happy tears are shed and the bond between our team gets closer every time. It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Tatonetti.