Dancing at Diwali
Professor Evil feared children were becoming dancers instead of doctors in the cultural show’s skit this year, but that didn’t stop students from dancing and acting for charity on the Edison Theatre stage this weekend.
Students in the nearly three-hour show performed traditional garba, raas and bhangra dances, as well as Bollywood fusion and hip hop.
The performance, hosted by Ashoka, occurred three times Friday and Saturday, raised almost $2,100 for Jaipur Foot, an organization that provides prosthetic limbs for amputees in India and other countries, Priyanka Patel, co-cultural chair for Ashoka said.
Both the Friday and Saturday night shows were completely sold out. Only a few tickets remained for the Saturday matinee performance.
”It was very well-attended. It ended up being very fun; the skit was very funny. We were trying to make it more applicable to the audience as a whole,” Patel said.
In addition to numerous traditional and modern dances, each show featured a performance by AC/Desi, a group of student singers and musicians who perform hit Bollywood songs, a candle lighting ceremony and a fashion show.
While in the past only the senior class had its own individual dance, this year the freshman, sophomore and junior classes had their own dances as well. All of the performances were scattered throughout the overarching skit.
“I really enjoyed it; the dancing was excellent. What I really liked was how they brought in the tradition and the charity and everything so it felt like I was going to more than just a dancing show,” senior Jennifer Lapp said.
At the show, members of the Ashoka executive board voiced their hopes to spread South Asian culture throughout campus in a way that gets everyone involved.
Some students noted they were pleased with the event’s inclusiveness.
“I thought it was great, I really liked the theme,” sophomore Ahkianne Wanliss said. “It was really down-to-earth, easy for everyone in the audience to relate to—and not just the Indian students here…people put in a lot of time for it and did a great job.”
Ashoka members also used the occasion to express their group’s goal for the coming year: to build a stronger community within both Ashoka and the University as a whole.
With additional reporting by Lauren Olens and Michael Tabb.