Boston Bhangra

The Orpheum Theatre hosted Boston Bhangra‘s sold-out 7th annual competition on Saturday night, with teams representing MIT, Rutgers, UVA, Cornell, and BU. Independent teams from NYC, Vancouver, California, and others also participated.

Bhangra, a joyful, traditional folk-inspired form of South Asian dance beefed up by funky hip-hop, rap and reggae beats, is a blast to watch.

energy in motion: UVA team

whirling dervishes, Punjabi-style

The scene was equally memorable: the energized audience, the concession stands (mango lassi and chai; daal and samosas for sale), and the performers milling around in the Orpheum’s courtyard who, in spite of being festooned head-to-toe in satin, pom-poms, shocking pink, and giant fan-hats, still managed to look masculine and sexy. Must be the moves. And their extreme confidence—not every guy can pull off this look:

Manly pom-poms: point those fans over here, boys

Oh, and the female performers looked amazing, too!

California girls: a bevy of bhangra beauties

While we were there, we ran into Ali Mohajerani, co-owner of Brookline Village’s KooKoo Cafe, who said the Boston festival’s founders offer bhangra classes at his adjacent Inner Space studios on Saturdays.

Sign me up!