Bollywood Beats

In less than 10 minutes onstage, 22 Northwestern dancers, clad in bedazzling silk shirts and sequined skirts, tell a story through leaps and turns in a marriage of music and dance. It is the essence of Bollywood — and it brings collegiate dance teams together from across the country to compete on the national stage.

Founded in 2008, Northwestern A.NU.Bhav (pronounced ah-new-bhav), the co-ed Hindi film dance — or filmi — team, is one of the best in the country. For competitions, the team prepares an eight-minute student-choreographed routine, mixing together styles of traditional Bollywood, Indian classical, hip-hop and lyrical dance. This year the team brought to life the story of a young man who admits to his soon-to-be wife that he loves another man — a narrative of heartbreak, love and, ultimately, acceptance.

At the conclusion of a successful season, A.NU.Bhav won the national competition at Bollywood America, one of the largest South Asian filmi-fusion competitions in the world, in April in San Francisco. Before this year, A.NU.Bhav had never qualified for the event.

Read Northwestern magazine intern Priyanka Mody's "Life in Purple" blog post on A.NU.Bhav's Bollywood America victory.

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