Eleven years ago, a group of Berkeley students assembled and took notice of the lack of cultural knowledge around the South Asian community. It was then that Azaad was born. Azaad is a student dance group that prides itself on spreading cultural knowledge through its innovative choreography. We perform on numerous occasions at Berkeley, as well as at hired performances, and dance competitions. In all of our performances, we hold the “Azaad Standard” of professionalism and presentation. You will never see an Azaad performance where a single count hasn’t been fine-tuned over a hundred runs. We put our heart and soul into every performance and always leave our audience impacted and inspired.
One of our choreography directors, Divya, performing the Southie routine
Azaad, meaning "independence" or "freedom", is UC Berkeley's premier Hindi Film dance team. We're a team based on dedication, passion, and energy, with the primary goal of creating productions that entertain and motivate audiences to connect with the Bollywood culture. After eleven years of collegiate competitions, Azaad has been extremely successful in entertaining audiences and placing in competitions nationwide. All our performances are centered on storylines such as empowering women, promoting equality, and overcoming disabilities, as we use our national platform to showcase inspiring narratives. Combining Indian classical, folk, and modern styles of dance, we take pride in our creative choreography and production elements, as we hope to set the bar higher and higher each year.
The intro song to our routine last year! From costumes to lighting, everything is planned in advance
In addition, we showcase the evolving South Asian culture through our choreography which aims to fuse styles not only from India but from all around the world. As an organization, we push for creative fusion. We don’t just do hip-hop or just perform Hindi-Film dance. We push ourselves to explore and fuse together lindy-hop, paso doble, hip-hop, contemporary, classical, bollywood, swing, and many other styles of dance. We then synthesize all of our distinct dance forms to convey a social message.
Our primary source of fundraising is competing at and winning national Bollywood competitions. Most competition rubrics weigh heavily towards the quality of the team’s costumes and production. Unfortunately, our costumes and production equipment have gone through 11 years of wear and tear and are no longer adequate to use on stage. We are hoping to replace our outfits and production elements so that we can continue to spread Indian culture and represent Cal around the US.
Currently, we do not have the funds necessary to replace our costumes and production equipment. Therefore, with the support of this campaign, we hope to raise the $4,000 necessary to become competition-ready. This will get us 22 new costumes, stage risers, a large production backdrop, as well as timed stage lights! Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
The whole team at last year's photoshoot!
Make sure to check us out on social media to get more updates about the team: