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Tonight the humidity at SOBs is as thick as monsoon season, the dhol beats are pounding and you can smell faint traces of fennel and anise in the crowd. ” Any Punjabis in the house?”…. An ocean of hands go up, but not because the entire crowd here is Punjabi but because tonight I’m at Basement Bhangra, an event held the first Thursday of every month at SOB’s located North of Houston.
Try to explain Bhangra to any non-Indian person and you’ll find yourself scraping barrel, especially when you’re one of those non-Indians yourself. Put simply, Bhangra has to be experienced! Bhangra is a style of Indian music and dance but originates from the heart of Punjabi Sikh celebrations more than it does booty calls and when practiced in intense fun, fervor and shouts of ecstasy, can get your heart rate up into a healthy and sweaty workout. This this the first event I’ve been to where most of the crowd is not only on the dance floor but whose most passionate dancers are men! (Single ladies….ahem, possibly the only place in NYC where the guy to girl ratio stands in our favor)
DJ Rekha is the spinning mistress of Basement Bhangra and is responsible for bringing it to the New York City club scene. Cranking it up a notch from Panjabi MC she mixes Bhangra and popular Bollywood film tunes into a heavenly concoction of desi spice and killer hip-hop beats.
As for beginners, you won’t feel out-of-place, the event is all in the spirit of FUN and CELEBRATION. At the cost of $13 (with flyer on the website, $16 without), you get a ticket for a free mojito (before 8P) and an informal beginner bhangra class (9P) to kick you off with some starter moves to hold your own when you’re on the dance floor. If your groove is still off when the music starts, but you look like you’re trying real hard, there are more than a few friendly native bhangra lovers that will help you out so that you can join the party. So take some friends or go solo, knock back that mojito and get ready to bounce!
Featuring DJ Rekha and Eddie Stats
Location: SOBs, 204 Varick Street
Getting there: Take subway 1 to Houston St.
Info: (212) 252-2392
Doors at 7pm, Free mojitos 7-8pm
$13 with flyer from website, $16 without
FREE Dance Lesson at 9pm