On Stage in Natomas: Bhangra State of Mind


THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

More than 300 people attended a Bhangra competition held Saturday in Natomas.

Competitors from Canada, Texas and New Jersey were among the 14 groups that performed at the “Bhangra State of Mind” competition at Inderkum High School on Saturday, Nov. 9.

This was the first time in seven years that Sacramento held any bhangra competition, according to event organizers.

“Sacramento is a prime area for a Bhangra competition, especially because of the large Indian community here,” organizer Gurjeet Nijjar said.

Live performances by different artists were also part of the event. One of the highlights of the night was the special performance by Mickey Singh, an up-and-coming Punjabi musician.

Teams from all over North America applied to be a part of the competition, but only a select few were chosen to compete.

One of the teams that was chosen is a hometown favorite, “Gabroo Punjab De.” The all-male team consists of high school students from the Sacramento region.

“Even though we didn’t place, our effort and teamwork is more important than winning,” GPD member Simran Banga said.

Bhangra refers to styles of dance originating from the Punjab region of India. This folk dance was usually used to celebrate harvest and the oncoming fall. It is accompanied with a combination of various classical instruments, such as the “dhol,”along with traditional lyrics and performers wear colorful costumes.

By fusing with Western elements, such as hip-hop and reggae, bhangra has been dramatically transformed and evolved into mainstream culture with bhangra competitions held all over North America.

During the “Bhangra State of Mind” competition this weekend, teams were judged based on performance, synchronization and visuals.

Ankailey Gabroo placed first, with Nachde Shokeen coming in a close second. The first place winners took home a $1,000 prize. The runner-ups received a cash reward for $500.


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