A talented bunch of Indo American enthusiasts, striving to make Bhangra mainstream are the Bhangra Empire. Yes, the same guys who caught social media attention for their scintillating performance at the NBA- Half-Time, a few days back
The Punjabi dance form, Bhangra needs no introduction. The popular style comes with its own swag. Bhangra beats are so energetic that irrespective of time, place, caste, creed or two left feet, one instantly begins to groove and move to the sounds of the rhythmic dhol- chimta-kanjri.
Who are they?
Based in the Bay Area, California, this group was founded in 2006, by 10 enthusiastic friends. With Omer Mirza and Michelle Mirza leading from the front, the team has now grown to an energetic strength of eighty. Their forte has been blending desi beats with iconic Western pop songs. The result – An East meets West kind of banging buzz. And their mission- ‘To bring Bhangra into mainstream, one performance at a time.’
Rocking the stage
Their performance at the NBA, 2017 though a high-voltage one, was only a tip of the iceberg. Whether it be the White House or the Golden State Warriors’ NBA court or the World Series Champion SF Giants’-London, or the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain- 2013, each time the Bhangra Empire take to the stage, they outperform themselves. With their amazing choreography, flawless synchronization, mesmerizing formations, they literally own the place they perform at.
Hall of Fame
In 2009, they performed at the First State Dinner, hosted by the then President (and everyone’s favourite) Barack Obama in honour of Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh.
In 2010, they featured in Harper’s Bazaar Magazine alongside the First Lady Michelle Obama, who picked them as one of the most upcoming talents in the United States. They also participated in a high profile photoshoot with her in the White House Ballroom.
They have also featured in NBC’s famous show, America’s Got Talent- Season 5.
What motivates them?
Having earned close to 16 awards at various competitions and made their presence felt at many International arenas they now perform close to 15 shows on an average in a year.
When asked what drives them to give such electrifying performances each and every time without fail, Michelle says, “We feel that bhangra is a great way to connect with people. It gets people both desi & non-desi excited. We feed off the energy of our audiences and we’re driven by the desire to spread and share our culture with mainstream audiences.”
These enthusiasts are more than happy to teach you some of their moves. You can visit their website for further details.
Though the group is almost a decade old and they been performing at the NBA for the past seven years, the online world has only just woken up to them. You can catch them weave their magic here, Thank us later:
Source for all Images: Bhangra Empire