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Boogie Woogie Lights Up Atlanta

January 2005
Boogie Woogie Lights Up Atlanta

Boogie Woogie Chalo Ame-rica 2004, presented by Sony Enter-tainment Television Asia was brought to Atlanta for its second year by Mark Premji Productions. The auditions for the local Atlanta competition took place on October 24th at the Global Mall and the competition itself was conducted at Earthlink Live on October 31st.

As on the television, the competition had two categories ? Juniors and Seniors. Parti-cipants in the Junior category represented ages 6 to 13 and those in the Seniors represented ages 14 to 21. The performances in each category were judged on various characteristics of dance which included choreography, originality, rhythm & grace, costume and visual presentation. One winner from each category, Junior and Senior will compete in the Boogie Woogie Chalo America US Grand Finals at New Jeresy on November 21st.The Grand Marshall for the event was Mr. Subhash Razdan and the emcee of the evening was Parijat Chandra.

The performances in the Junior category ranged from classical music based numbers like `Rang Deni' from the movie Dev to a medley of Bollywood songs to Bhangara numbers by Sukhbir and Shehzad. The enthusiasm, talent and innovativeness of the juniors were a pleasure to watch as was the fact that a seven year old parti-cipant chose his own medley of songs and choreographed his performance.

The competition in the Seniors category was intense. Appropriate attention had been paid to the choice of songs, outfits and dance steps. Judging this section must have been quite a challenge for the judges. All participants be it girls or boys wowed the audience with their moves. The boys participating in this section over shone the girls with their graceful moves, be it fluidity or flexibility, typically a woman's domain.

As the winners and first runner-ups were announced it was clearly evident that a tough competition had been fought and the winners were appropriately chosen. The First Runner-up in the Junior section was Shivany Bhakta who danced beautifully to the number `Mann Mohini' from the movie Hum Dil Chuke Sanam. The winner was Samta Savla who drew the audience's breath away by her flawlessly choreographed performance of the song `Rang Deni' from the movie Dev.

The Senior section had a tie for the First Runner-up, between Hariqbal Basi who performed to the song `Maut' from the movie Kaante and Nina Talukdar who performed a fusion dance on the number `Tumse Milke Dilka' from the movie Main Hoon Na. Shivani Gandhi who danced to her idol Madhuri Dixit's lavani song `Hum Ko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar' from the movie Sailaab was the big winner of the evening.

Shivani, the youngest Bharat Natyam graduate in Atlanta was the winner in the Junior section of Boogie Woogie Chalo America, 2003 in Atlanta and took home the Seniors trophy this year. Her performance in the finals at New Jersey was being looked forward to with baited breath, but alas Atlanta didn't get the crown.

Shivani has performed at 1996 Summer Olympic, Atlanta Festival of Trees, FOGANA, Diwali Shows at Gujarati Samaj and Shakti Mandir, UISA Diwali Shows etc. At present, she teaches dance at Kruti Dance Academy.

- Parijat Chandra

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