Boston College’s South Asian Student Association (SASA) held its 23rd annual culture show titled Kismat: A Story of Luck which celebrated tradition through performance. Held in Robsham Theater on Feb. 9, the sold-out show had an extremely lively and energetic vibe. The culture show is often considered to be the highlight of the year for student organizations, and audience members clearly could not wait to see what their friends had prepared.
The performance consisted of mainly dancing, with a short singing act, skit, and fashion show each interspersed within. With a total of 19 events, the show featured a huge variety of cultural traditions from across South Asia. The dance routines in particular highlighted the diversity of South Asian culture, such as Bhangra, a style native to the Punjab region of Pakistan and India. The choreographers didn’t keep the dances completely traditional, however, infusing some modern hip-hop inspired elements into the performances, which could be seen most acutely in the “All-Boys” dance.
It was clear that the members of SASA had put plenty of time and practice into the routines. Hours of rehearsals translated into a group of confident dancers, which in turn led to a powerful and engaging stage presence throughout the entire night. One section of the culture show that stood out as particularly well-executed was the “Garba” dance, which according to the program, “is a form of dance that originated in the state of Gujarat and is typically performed during the festival of Navaratri.” The performers put on a display of irresistible energy and impeccable choreography. The visuals were gorgeous as well, as the stage seemed to erupt in an explosion of different colors the moment the dancers walked out.
Special attention should also be given to the group of performances given by the four different classes—freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The four groups each performed engaging dances, and it was especially impressive to see how well they were in sync, even though these performances featured the largest amount of dancers on the stage at one time—the junior class had more than 50 performers. The senior dance was especially impressive, as for many of those performers, this was their fourth and final year in the culture show so they made sure to send themselves off with style and flair.
The special effects onstage contributed to the celebratory mood. The technicians used a variety of different lighting techniques to create a dazzling display of colors and shadows, the perfect complement to the dancers’ movements. At certain times, only the silhouettes of the performers were visible, an impressive display that contributed much to the depth and visual complexity of some of the performances.
The 23rd annual SASA culture show was undoubtedly a memorable experience. The production itself was stellar, but the impact of the event was heightened by the connection between the performers and the audience members. This night wasn’t only about celebrating different cultures, but also the people who bring diversity to Boston College, and in that facet, it succeeded tremendously.
Featured Image by Aman Sinha / For The Heights