"Everyone wanted to be a part of it. The workshops were so much fun"
Birmingham Broad Street’s Municipal Bank came to life with the grand finale of the International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) 2016.
The Desi Grooves closing party held on May 21, 2016, was the place to be, with some fantastic acts and live performances throughout the evening.
Ending the month long celebration of dance from all parts of the world on a high, the audience was rewarded with the ultimate showdown of Indian dance styles, Bollywood vs Bhangra.
Desi Grooves welcomed electric performances from Bollywood Dreams, Nachda Sansaar and the Dhol Blasters.
Nachda Sansaar blew audiences away with their polished medley of folk Punjabi dance and modern Bhangra pop beats.
Getting guests on their feet, Bollywood Dreams danced to some of the biggest Desi tunes to come out of India in the last decade.
Ticket-holders also had the chance to strut their own Bollywood moves with guest DJ’s KA.M and Shaanti who led the professional, IDFB staff and volunteers into an electric Desi themed dance-off!
While the evening was hosted by BBC Asian Network’s Harpz Kaur, Desi Grooves also welcomed some surprise guests.
BollyFlex’s very own Naz Choudhury made a special appearance. The talented dancer and choreographer who has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing enjoyed the energetic atmosphere and even performed an impromptu dance on stage.
Following the incredible success of the last few weeks of the International Dance Festival Birmingham, Desi Grooves was a befitting finale, and a great tribute to Birmingham’s ethnically diverse community.
Speaking about the success of the event, Harpz Kaur told DESIblitz: “Hosting for Desi Grooves was an absolute pleasure. It’s the first time I have attended International Dance Festival Birmingham. I would love to make an appearance next time too!
“The event was put together so well and the range of acts was great. From Bhangra to Bollywood, the Municipal Bank’s main room was constantly filled with energy.
“The response was electrifying and to be honest, it wasn’t that hard getting people involved, everyone wanted to be a part of it. The workshops were so much fun.
“Events like this are the best way to bring people together. It was so nice to see people from all ethnic backgrounds taking part and having a taste of the Asian culture. Hopefully these kind of events will continue to happen across the UK.”
Aside from the musical element of the evening, the Desi Grooves party also saw some incredible food courtesy of Taste n Liquor as well as Bollywood Beauty and Mehndi stalls.
All in all, the International Dance Festival Birmingham has been a resounding success. Its fifth year welcomed an incredible audience of nearly 52,000 across a range of dance spectacles all over Britain’s second city.
DanceXchange’s Artistic Director and Co-Artistic Director IDFB16, David Massingham, said: “It has been a huge pleasure working with so many fantastic international artists over these past weeks, both bringing their work to the stage and creating new productions.
“I believe our thrilling programme has had a transformative effect on audiences.
“The branding and visibility of the festival across the city was the envy of many of the international programmers who came to see premieres and IDFB is grateful to Birmingham City Council and Centro for their support with this. We’d also like to thank Arts Council England and our many festival partners. IDFB is truly a team effort.”
The IDFB has welcomed a diversity of dance that Birmingham should be proud of from Bhangra, Bollywood, Swing, Ballet, Contemporary and Flamenco, the city has never seen so many cultures and dance styles in one place.
There is no doubt that the next instalment of the International Dance Festival Birmingham will be just as, if not more, enjoyable.