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SASA Performs Annual Culture Show Sunday Night

After Nemo delayed the show, students danced to traditional music in Robsham on Sunday.

For The Heights

Published: Monday, February 18, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 11:02

SASA Performs Annual Culture Show

Alex Gaynor // Heights Editor


“Parampara,” the Hindi word for tradition, was the name of the South Asian Student Association (SASA) show on Sunday which featured traditional dances performed with a modern flair. What differentiated it from other dance shows is that it was an educational experience. Performances were intermingled with videos explaining the different traditional costumes and music associated with different dances, and there was even a student fashion show, after the intermission.

“Its the one group I’ve been a part of all four years, and SASA has become like a second family for me,” said Naomi Parikh, LSOE ’13. SASA is a tightly woven community of students who represent multiple backgrounds.

A portion of the proceeds from this show will be donated to CRY America, a group that works to lessen the effects of child exploitation in India.

Shaan, a relatively new a cappella group on campus, opened the show with a nice layering of harmonies that crescendoed in and out while soloists sang “Vande Mataram.”

Next to take the stage was Masti, Boston College’s only South Asian dance group, which performed at UConn on Friday. Masti, with its beautifully sequined costumes, was a highlight of the show. This dance contained recorded voices of dancers. The singers added a story of a competition of three mens attempting to win a girl’s attention through dance. It was a very dynamic performance that kept moving and utilized great stage formations.

Each class performed their own dance. The freshmen were the smallest of the classes but showed great effort throughout their performance. The sophomore and junior dances were intricate, and Robsham’s colored lights showed off the well-coordinated, controlled body movements and waves.

There were also musical performances such as the Bollywood arrangement of “Jiya Re.” Kiran Mani, A&S ’15, sang to the arrangement and Suraj Mudichintala, CSOM ’16, played the Piano. Mani controlled her voice beautifully and sang with a great passion reflected in her crescendoing volume. She added subtle pop embellishments to the traditional song, which enhanced the performance.

Shaan soloist Priyasha Chaturvedi, A&S ‘14, stunned the audience with her powerful vocals during a “Heartless” remix.

There were also performances from “All Girls” and “All Boys.” The dances featured challenging choreography and hip hop songs such as N’SYNC’s “All Boys.”

The students’ clothing reflected traditional garb. In Bhangra, for example, men wore draped pants and a shirt called Kedias while women wore colorful embroidered chaniya cholis. “My favorite dance was probably Bhangra, because of its great power and grace,” said Kishanraj Bhakta, co-captian of Masti and A&S ‘13, who appeared in and choreographed more than half of the dances.

Garba added sticks called dandiya as a challenge. Performers used the sticks to accentuate the beat like in the Kathak dance, which has dancers stamping to the beat with bell-wrapped ankles. Shani Barnett, one of the Masti co-captains and A&S ’13, said that besides Masti, this was one of her favorite dances.  

The senior dance was the largest dance and a challenge to stage and organize as Barnett described, but it was a great finish to the show. As Mimi Rahman, A&S ’13,  put it, “The senior dance is one of the highlights that you look forward to, but is also bittersweet because it means you are graduating.” It was the awaited finale to the show and was significant to seniors in SASA and their friends and roommates.

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