Kick off the semester with some excitement and dance! Bollywood Berkeley, an enormous Hindi Film Dance competition held by Indus, is this weekend in Oakland. Schools from all over California and the United States are coming here to show off their best Bollywood dance moves for the 12th year in a row. We at the Clog know Azaad, Berkeley’s team, will wipe the floor with everyone.

Teams come from basically everywhere, but a few of our typical competitors — UC Davis, UC Irvine and UCLA — will definitely be there. There will be amazing routines, costumes, scenery — and, of course, outstanding performers!


If you’ve ever seen a Bollywood film, then you know the type of evening you have ahead of you. And if you haven’t, it’s a chance to see huge choreographed numbers portraying intricate storylines, typically with one male lead dancer and one female. They’re often love stories that for some reason can only be properly conveyed through synchronized hip movements and singing.

The show is this Saturday, Feb. 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. You’ll find tickets online or being sold on Sproul, so get them now! There will also be an official afterparty starting at 10 p.m. in San Francisco. Per usual, tickets for both events will be more if you pay at the door.

Do something fun this weekend with your friends, before all the work piles on in earnest. Literally thousands of people go to this event, and we guarantee it will be one to remember.

 Image source: arpitmehta under Creative Commons

Picture this. A green mountaintop. Wind blowing in a woman’s hair. Music playing in the background as she runs into the leather-jacketed arms of a hero. Sound familiar? If you’ve ever seen a Bollywood film it should.

Sharukh Khan

Through the years, the Hindi-Indian film industry has become pretty popular all around the world. It turns out cheesy songs and drawn-out love stories are entertaining to all cultures. One of the general rules of the genre is randomly breaking out into outrageous musical dance numbers. This can occur anywhere from airports and parks to beaches; generally every public location possible. Fantasy song sequences next to waterfalls and grassy plains are also recommended, as well as flying off to exotic locations for no conceivable reason. See why everyone loves them?

Now, Bollywood has evolved since the good ol’ days of more classically styled Hindi film. Nowadays dance sequences are as likely to happen in clubs as they are outside on a sunny day. Thankfully though, the sappy storylines and high emotions are still there for all to enjoy. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that they’re so long they need intermissions halfway through. A literal intermission sign fades onto the screen after what we in America would conceive to be a full movie’s worth of action, reminding us that we’re only halfway through the ridiculous misunderstandings and shenanigans!

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We don’t think you’re ready for this Bolly.

But you’d best be preparing thyselves. Dance team Ishaara may not have advanced to the next round of the NBC series, but they’re still winners as far as we (and the rest of the country) are concerned—and, thank our lucky stars, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Dance Team Gains National Recognition [YouTube]
Dance Team Gains National Recognition [DailyCal]

This is not them. UC Berkeley’s very own Bollywood dance team took to the airwaves earlier this week on America’s Got Talent. And, unlike previous UC Berkeley reality-show legend William Hung, seemed quite popular with the audience and the judges.

So popular, in fact that they’ll be going on to the show’s next round in Las Vegas, and David Hasselhoff made what we assume to be a simultaneously complimentary and self-aggrandizing remark in commenting that they should change their name to “Bollywatch.”

In any case, we wish them all the best. For those of you hoping to follow them on the show, it airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Image Source: Mosseby under Creative Commons
America’s Got Talent-Ishaara’s Performance [NBC]
Ishaara Dance [Ishaara]

Q: OMG, OMG. What do you get when you cross a highly-choreographed, air guitar-sprinkled Tamil song and dance number with Berkeley landmarks like the Asian Ghetto* and the Campanile? read more »