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Clay Paky Lights Dance Premier League
Lighting Designer
Atul Sonpal
Jagmag Electric Co.
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Dance Premier League just wrapped up its first season, attracting a huge following in India and beyond. This new reality show produced by Cineyug for Sony Entertainment Television featured a unique format, where for the first time on Indian Television, dance teams selected through All India Auditions from each zone of India competed with their 8-person group dance skills. The show ran for 11 weeks with the Grand Finale broadcast on December 22.

The six teams represented the five regions of India, plus a team for non-resident Indians (NRIs). The teams were Uttar Ke Puttar (North), Western Yodhas, Eastern Tigers, Central Surmas, Southern Sizzlers and the NRI team Desi-Pardesi.

Every team featured a distinct character along with a unique logo, brand ambassador, choreographer, official supporter, cheerleaders, slogan, and even merchandise. The teams were challenged to embody the spirit of their zone and showcase their competitive spirit to emerge as India’s top zone. The series attracted some of the region’s top dancers, choreographers and even Bollywood actors as judges.

Lighting Designer Atul Sonpal designed the show-stopping setup for the series using a powerful collection of Clay Paky Alpha series fixtures. The stage was configured in a dramatic tilted ring over the stage, canopied with the 19 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700 fixtures directly over the stage, along with 18 Alpha Spot HPE 1200 to create gobos on the floor and set pieces, and 11 Alpha Wash 1200 to light the dome. The dramatic effects can be seen in Uttar Ke Puttar’s own Dinesh Mudiyar Dance Performance ”Love Me Love Me Baby!” on YouTube:  ( )

All lighting design, equipment and installation was supplied by Jagmag Electric Co. from Mumbai, India. Atul Sonpal commented, ”We’re very proud to supply Clay Paky fixtures to prestigious, high-profile events such as Dance Premier League. They looked stunning on television and proved to be extremely reliable. Jagmag has almost 100 Alpha fixtures and they always do a tremendous job.”

Just as in Premier league in football, the teams competed in matches with wins, losses and points to determine who would continue on to the semi-finals and finals. Each zonal team played against every other zone. Each match featured a solo, a duo and a group round. The tally of all three rounds decided the winner. The scoring was similar to cricket runs, for example, “duck”, “single”, “boundary”, “sixer”, etc. The winning team received 2 points. At the end of each match, awards were also given just like cricket – “Man of the match”, “most 6’s”, etc. After the first round of matches, the top four teams went on to the semifinals and then the top two competed in the finals.

Sony heavily promoted the show, with the idea to drive regional loyalty, as in sports tournaments. The communication was focused on creating regional pride and portraying the show as a sports battlefield.

At final broadcast, the Western Yodhas, who fought hard to make it to the top, were pronounced the winners and awarded with prize money and a trophy. Sony plans to run a second season in 2010.