NS perform at Rangla Punjab

Trip Start Sep 21, 2005
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 156 Thur 13th April 2006
NS perform at Rangla Punjab

Well it has finally happened, Nachda Sanaar have done their first ever performance on Punjabi soil, and that was on Vaisakhi day. Although the group has been going over 20 years now, this was the first time we had performed in the country where the dance originally comes from. I have to say it was one of the best performance I have taken part in, even topping the opening ceremony of the Common Wealth Games in 2002. This is how the day went...

We were up at 9.30am even though we had a pretty late night, we had breakfast in the hotel and the driver came to pick us up at 10.30am. The first thing we did was go to Rangla Punjab to get tickets in advance for tonight's performance, we all wanted tickets for friend & family and organisers had warned that they might sell out as it's Vaisakhi. I went to the office after to use the internet while Danny and Anil went shopping for CD's. Ajee came back to Jalandhar around midday and we all met up at the office. We all made our way to Neel Kamal to pick up the costumes we had ordered yesterday, now I have been here long enough to know that things usually don't get ready when they should, so I expected the next bit. To be fair the outfits were ready, the turbans on the other hand had been dyed to the wrong shade of white (how many shades of white can there be?), anyway we had to go back in the evening to pick them up. We made our way back to the hotel to get our stuff ready for the big show, and grabbed some Pizza on the way.

We left for Jag's around 4pm, its only a 20 minute drive form the hotel and on the way to Rangla Punjab. We were going to meet up at his to rehearse and thats when I would surprise the rest of the lads. Danny, Ajee and Anil went into the house and I waited in the car for a few minutes. I had a call from Jag saying they were all on the top floor practicing and I should come in now. I made my way up and watched threw the semi closed door as they rehearsed the routine, then when they had a short break I walked in and they all went crazy!!! It was great seeing everyone again, and I know I have only been away 4 months but sometimes those 4 months felt like 4 years! When everything calmed down we got down the serious business of rehearsing the routine. I hadn't played the Dhol since I left the UK so by 6pm I was totally wasted! During the rehearsal I had sent our driver to pick up the outfits so we were ready to roll!

We got to Rangla Punjab around 6.30pm, we had time to have a quick look around and do a sound check before heading into the changing rooms to prepare for the show. I had invited lots of friend and family and amongst them was Engrej (Lakha's son from Pind). He helped Anil and I tie our turbans and they came out really good. We didn't go on stage till 9pm, and by that time we were all dying to get up there. We started the performance with a short Dhol intro (glory for Anil and I), and then did a 25 minute dance piece, we ended with some more Dhol (more glory!!!). The crowd were amazing, I have never seen so much enthusiasm and excitement in an audience. The performance was perfect and it went down a storm with the crowd, they are used to seeing dance pieces done to recorded music, so when we did our live show they loved it! It's hard to put into words the emotion that was felt both during and after the performance today, I know I will never forget it and maybe never feel the same way again. After the show we came out from back stage (still in costume) and had loads of photos taken with friends, family and just random people from the crowd. We all went into the restaurant after changing and had dinner.

We got back to the hotel at around midnight, I don't think it has sunk in yet and I know we are all still on a major high. I can't wait to see the video footage, but as usual I know it will not capture the electric atmosphere of the live show. I keep thinking, how could I not have been here! How could I have missed out on this? I need some major recuperation time now because the performance really took it out of me, but the lads leave in a few days so I think it will be all go until then.
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