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Jena Pandya (Mary), Zaynah Ahmed (Preeti) and the full company. Credit Craig Sugden.png



Find your beat. Find your team.  Find yourself.

2024 Eastern Eye

ACTA for Best Production


2019 Richard Rodgers


Bhangra Nation is an exhilarating new musical set in the high stakes world of intercollegiate competitive bhangra (a Punjabi folk dance morphed into a good old fashioned dance-off).


Bhangra Nation made its U.S. premiere in 2022 at the La Jolla Playhouse under its original title, Bhangin' It, and its U.K. premiere in an all-new production at the Birmingham Rep in 2024!

About the Show


When Mary and Preeti's collegiate bhangra team qualifies for Nationals, they set off on opposing quests to dance to their own beat. Drawing from competitive bhangra and mixing it with other Indian and Western dance forms, Bhangra Nation is a brash, intoxicating and joyous new musical comedy for everyone.

The show's generous developmental homes have included La Jolla Playhouse, the Jerome Robbins Foundation's Project Springboard: Developing Dance Musicals, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat's Triple R Program for two readings and a residency and Rhinebeck's summertime Writers Retreat, as well as the Johnny Mercer Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab and The Orchard Project.


Featuring music, lyrics, and co-dance and vocal arrangements by Sam, the creative team includes:

  • award-winning playwrights Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew

  • director Stafford Arima (Ragtime on the West End, Allegiance, Altar Boyz)

  • additional arrangements and orchestrations by legendary musician and bhangra pioneer Kuljit Bhamra, MBE (The West End's Bombay DreamsBend It Like Beckham, and The Far Pavillions), with music supervision by Rich Morris and orchestrations by Matthew Malone

  • acclaimed Bollywood, Bhangra and Kathak choreographer Rujuta Vaidya, musical staging by West End choreographer Rebecca Howell, and Bhangra choreography by Parambeer Samrai

  • multi-Tony-award-winning producers Mara Isaacs and Tom Kirdahy (HadestownThe InheritanceHere We Are) and Peggy Koenig.

In the News


Bhangra Nation "manages to pull off [nuance] and more, without any kind of diluting. It presents multiple sides of complex discussions around cultural identity without declaring a definitive winner, incorporates deeply rooted South Asian art forms into an American musical... and genuinely addresses these topics and conversations without sacrificing story, character or crowd-pleasing humor."

   -- Ashley Lee


Big, bright, bouncy and bursting with enough energy to propel it across the Atlantic... what brings the action to glorious life is the way the two girls’ cultural identity crises are given expression through dance and music... this is a truly terrific show – beautifully presented and delivered.

-- Claire Brennan


The real joy of this production lies in the music written by Sam Willmott and performed live by a team of talented musicians... and the spectacular dancing choreographed by Rujuta Vaidya. Bringing together a whole host of dance and music including not only bhangra but also kathak, hip-hop, Bollywood and even a touch of Latin, the show is a firecracker of youthful energy and enthusiasm.

-- Diane Parkes


The music by Sam Willmott and dance, choreographed by Rujuta Vaidya, is always vital, the dholaks (Indian drums) as infectious as a thumping bass... A thunderously upbeat finale has so much energy that the show wins with its charm and journey towards joy.

-- Arifa Akbar


A whirlwind of positivity, joy and genuine spirit... [this musical is] more daring and dynamic than most.

-- Anya Ryan


Sam Willmott’s irresistibly catchy score fuses traditional musical theatre ballads with explosive bhangra beats and occasional flashes of hip hop. Some major dance-off moments are joyously choreographed by Rujuta Vaidya, while two highlights – The Momtra and The Preeti Ballet – are rooted in Willmott’s evident respect for, and celebration of South-East Asian dance culture.

-- Paul Vale

Zayah Ahmed (Preeti) and Company performing Ve Leja Mainu Pind Wal Tu (The Preeti Ballet).
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