By Claire Kalikman
South Asian dance and singing groups lit up the stage Saturday night in Woolsey Hall. Six groups celebrating South Asian culture performed at the annual Roshni Showcase. Roshni means ‘light’ in Hindi. The South Asian Society hosted the event, and also sold food from Insomnia Cookies, Tikkaway, Caseus, and Pepe’s to raise money.
Diksha Brahmbhatt ‘18 and Ahmed Syed ‘18 emceed the event. They provided self-deprecating humor and incredible dancing during the breaks.
The night started with the fusion a capella group Sur et Veritaal. ‘Sur’ means ‘note’ and ‘veritaal’ means beat or rhythm. They combine Bollywood songs and Western hits, singing in both Hindi and English. Member Nikhil Nagpal ‘21 said, “ I think it’s a great way to stay connected to my culture and have fun!”
Next was Yale Rangeela, a fusion dance group combining Bollywood, classical Indian, and hip-hop. In 2012 they performed for Shah Rukh Khan, arguably Bollywood’s biggest superstar, a fact they love to emphasize.
Then came Yale Kalaa, Yale’s newest Indian dance group. They performed three types of dance from different regions: Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Kuchipudi. Yashasvini Jindal ‘21 performed the final type, a traditional folk dance form from the Punjab region of South Asia. She commented, “I love being a part of Kalaa because even though we all come from different backgrounds, dance brings us together, and lays the foundation of our shared values. Beyond our differences, we are a unique community united by our commitment to our versatile dance forms.”
MonstRAAsity performed dance from the state of Gujarat, and were followed by two graduate students singing Desi music. The final group to perform was Jashan Bhangra , who rejuvenated the audience with their high energy Punjab dance style.
Delhi native Saumya Malhotra ‘21 commended the performances, saying “I’m so happy that these sort of events happen here because it makes me feel at home and connected to my culture even when I’m so far from home.”
Many of the acts, though, included performers not from South Asia or South Asian descent. The acts performed by each grade were especially fun because they were composed of the actual performers, and the performers’ friends, just there to have a good time.
Claire Kalikman ’21 is in Morse College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.