The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

IN PHOTOS: Nachde Nashville VII

The BhangraDores hosted Nachde Nashville VII, the South’s largest intercollegiate Bhangra competition.
Geetika Komati
Davis Bhangra Crew performs at Langford Auditorium, as photographed on March 25, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Geetika Komati)

The BhangraDores held their annual competition, Nachde Nashville, on March 25 at Langford Auditorium. Nachde Nashville is the largest Bhangra competition in the South. The event featured collegiate Bhangra teams all across the country, including from the University of North Carolina, University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan. Bhangra, a dance form that originated in Punjab, is best known for its intricate costumes and energetic dance moves.

The teams incorporated a mix of traditional and contemporary music, highlighting the creativity and dedication of the Bhangra community. Backtracks frequently mixed Punjabi music with other musical genres such as rap and hip-hop, featuring artists such as Drake and Pitbull. 

Each team brought their own unique flair to the stage from their respective colleges and cities. Some teams even brought out their own dhol (Indian drum) player. From the precision of their footwork to the mesmerizing rhythm of the dhol beats, the competition was a feast for the senses that left the audience cheering for more.

The teams wore traditional Indian costumes composed of kurtas, long sleeved tunics, and salwar, loose fitting pants. Their outfits were embroidered and accessorized with bright, flowy scarves, jangling anklets and structured headdresses. 

Many teams brought out props that amplified their dance moves. The Maryland Bhangra team performed with khunde, long walking canes with colorful flags at the end that were originally used by Punjabi farmers. The dancers frequently waved the khunde over their heads and from side to side. 

The dancers also brought out sapps, my personal favorite addition to the performances. Sapps are giant folding accordions made of wood and bolts. The dancers opened their sapps by spreading their hands. When they closed the sapps, they made thunderous clapping noises in sync with the music’s beat, intensifying the energy from the performance.

The teams competed all night, vying for the top prize. In the end, Cardinal Bhangra from the University of Louisville emerged as the winner, followed by Davis Bhangra Crew and Virginia Tech Bhangra, respectively. While those three teams clearly impressed the judges with their technical precision and vibrant energy, all were applauded for their impressive performances. The event was a testament to the enduring appeal of bhangra and its place as a cornerstone of South Asian culture.

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About the Contributor
Geetika Komati
Geetika Komati, Staff Photographer
Geetika Komati ('26) is majoring in economics and music performance and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Livingston, N.J. Geetika loves photographing sports games and getting in on the live action. Apart from the Hustler, some of Geetika's favorite things are traveling, boxing, and cheering on the New Jersey Devils. She can be reached at [email protected].
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