Los Angeles, Aug 17 (IANS) Indian troupe Desihoppers – a group from across the country – has emerged victorious at the World of Dance competition here.
Cries of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Ganpati Bappa Morya” echoed and the Indian tricolour was waved at the venue, the Los Angeles Convention Center, as the group was announced the winners on Sunday evening. They received a trophy along with a cheque of $5,000.
They also got the ‘Crowd Favourite Trophy’ at the event – which since 2008, has united the dance community from the US, Europe, South America, Asia, and Canada – to celebrate the lifestyle and culture of urban dance and music.
The troupe, initiated by trio Shantanu Maheshwari, Macedon D’mello and Nimit Kotian, crossed borders to make the natIon proud on foreign shores, just a day after the Indian Independence Day.
India’s spirit of “unity in diversity” was very much in evidence as the group – men in their early 20s wearing white outfits with tricolour handbands – gyrated to ‘desi’ beats.
They staged an energetic performance by starting off with a formation of Lord Ganesha and then providing a glimpse of Indian classical dance.
After the “Ganpati Bappa Morya” religious chant, the troupe switched to fusion mode with international hits like “I got the power”, “Turn down for what” and “Old McDonald had a farm”.
The performance also saw a blend of western music on dhol beats. Salman Khan’s “Kick” song “Jumme ki raat hai” became instant hits.
The group not only got a standing ovation, but the audience was seen reaching out to the dancers after the performance to applaud their effort.
Before the performance, when this IANS correspondent caught up with a group of Indians born and brought up in US, they were all charged up to see the Desihoppers’s dance.
The race to clinch the trophy was not easy. Representatives from 14 countries, including Canada and Mexico, participated in the competition with 34 crews.
The competition was judged by ace international dancers Matt Steffanina, Galen Hooks, Arnel Calvario, Jun Quemado and Beau Fournier.
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Disney. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)