America’s Got Bollywood: Organizing the largest Bollywood Dance show in the Bay!
Twice a year, it happens! America’s Got Bollywood! Inspiring and captivating! 1000 students ages 3 yrs. to adults, 100 Emerging Performers and professional dancers, special needs kids from Jeena, and the Jollywood seniors all come together to rock the stage!
One spectacular day but behind it lies months and months of preparation. Creating a show of that level and that scale requires tremendous planning and organization. The artistic team designing all the professional acts, selecting themes, concepts and songs, to reflect the same. Instructors choosing and conceptualizing the songs for their classes and the medleys being edited for each class. Hours and hours are invested in creating the perfect medley! Some of the professional acts actually have sound engineers in India creating the mixes.
The content is just one aspect. What would the showcase be without the costuming and production?
Planning for the production starts well in advance. Identifying and creating backdrops, designing and renting sets, and bridging the gap between our vision and it’s execution, is a Herculean task. From each ribbon that a student may be using to the largest set on stage, each aspect must be accounted for. The set up and strike has to happen within minutes so there is an entire team of people dedicated to make that happen.
Costuming is an entire world in itself.
People often wonder why we are so rigid about the costume measurement submission deadlines. The fact is that there are about a 1000 students whose costumes are ordered all the way from India! We have several vendors dealing with different sizes, designs and fabrics. The designing and sampling begins before the quarter even starts. And we have to account time for unexpected things like costumes getting stuck in customs as they contained too many sequins! Each costume piece is individualized so the volume of work is unimaginable! And then there are the professional act costumes which are another story altogether!
So far we were just exploring what people actually see on stage but there are so many other logistics that need to be ironed out. Volunteer meetings begin months in advance. The team of people one sees ushering the students and audiences have all been part of several meetings. The amount of effort they put in may not be as visible compared to the performers, but it is in no ways easier. In order to have a well-organized showcase, a good volunteer team is crucial and we are thankful to have a set of motivated people who continue to support us.
There are also other aspects like ticketing, booking the vendors, the merchandise, the program guide, the technical rehearsals and so much more which we haven’t really elaborated on. But you get the idea! All these elements come together to create a great experience!
America’s Bollywood is truly special because we put our hearts and souls into it, trying to outdo ourselves each show and constantly trying to better the experience for the students and audiences.
May 19 is just round the corner and we hope to see you there! Tickets available here.