Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition winners JJ’s Group, Dancing Birds, Natya Bollywood Dance Group and Bollywood Dimensions rocks Melbourne.

Melbourne, August 15: The Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition (TBDC), a much-anticipated event of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s (IFFM) bumper schedule of celebrations, rocked Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday, 13th of August 2016 with actor, dancer, model, and presenter Malaika Arora Khan and a panel of high-profile celebrity judges and impressive dance performances from 26 dance groups.

The competition, also attended by Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and co-judged by well-known model and actress Richa Chadda and screenwriter and director of hit movie, ‘Kapoor and Sons’, Shakun Batra; kicked off after veteran Bollywood actor, producer and director, Rishi Kapoor hoisted the Indian Flag for India Independence Day weekend.

Commenting on ‘Bollywood Dimensions’, the Telstra People’s Choice Winner, Malaika Arora Khan said: “I really loved the beautiful dancing. This is what Bollywood dancing is all about – energy, fun and enjoying yourself.

“I think your love and passion for Bollywood dancing was very visible today at the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition. Because you were enjoying it, we were enjoying too.”

The dance group winners, who received $1,000 prizes courtesy of Telstra, are:

Under 12 Dance Winner – JJ’s Group

Pre-Teens Dance Winner – Dancing Birds

Adult Dance Winner – Natya Bollywood Dance Group

Telstra People’s Choice Award Winner – Bollywood Dimensions

Celebrity judge Richa Chadda said: “By watching dance groups like this, I understand the power of song and dance. It unites everyone, everywhere. You guys were awesome, well done.”

Shakun Batra said, ‘my heart is melting’ of the tiny tots who danced at the competition and won an award, a comment which resonated and brought huge cheers from the crowd.

Watching Mangalore-born winner Cyrus, Shakun Batra remarked: “Mangalore seems to have some serious dancers. We need to get some dancers across to Bollywood now!”

Alister Park, Telstra Marketing General Manager said: “It is an honour and great pleasure for Telstra to be part of the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for the fourth year. This year, the standard of competition was very high, and we are very excited to support this event.”

Telstra took the opportunity to reward its customers, and visiting Bollywood celebrity guests, with attractive offers and exclusive deals for staying in touch whilst enjoying the Festival.

“Telstra helped the crowd bring their own Mazedaar living room to life to mark the launch of YuppTV on Telstra TV.

“YuppTV boasts nothing but the best South-Asian and Bollywood content in over 12 languages, streamed directly to homes via the Telstra TV, including popular channels like Zee TV and Star Plus.

“During IFFM 2016, the crowd loved having the chance to make free calls to family and friends in India as part of Telstra’s $40 Pre-Paid Freedom Plus offer which allows customers to make unlimited standard calls to India and 9 other countries.

“And knowing how essential it is to stay connected while abroad – especially for celebrities – Telstra gladly provided the Festival’s VIP celebrity guests Malaika Arora Khan, Richa Chadda, and filmmaker Leena Yadav with pre-paid sim cards for making unlimited calls, plus heaps of data to use on Australia’s fastest mobile network.” added Park.

During this year’s TBDC, over 3,000 SMS votes were cast and, courtesy of Telstra Pre-Paid, one lucky SMS voter, Nithya, was picked from the crowd to make a call to her sister in India with celebrity judge Malaika Arora Khan.

Nithya said: “Seeing Malaika on stage and getting a photo with her… it was like I started floating! I can’t believe Telstra gave me this opportunity. I’m still floating!”

Telstra also welcomed pre-event prize winner Kunal to the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition along with his wife, daughter and parents who had just arrived from India. Kunal enjoyed luxurious accommodation, attended the star-studded IFFM Awards Night and met Malaika Arora Khan and Sonam Kapoor.

Kunal said: “Without Telstra, this amazing experience wouldn’t have been possible. My parents are here with me from India and Telstra made sure they were able to join me. It’s a very special day for them too. In India, it’s much harder to be part of an event like this! The way Telstra has been bringing Bollywood and Melbourne together is great, thank you!”

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is an initiative of the Victorian Government and is Australia’s biggest annual celebration of Indian cinema.

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