Dance and scientific contributions were emphasized at the 2014 India Night titled “Incredible India”, which was organized by the India Heritage Club and held in the Atwood ballroom Saturday night.
The presentation began with the national anthems of India and the U.S. sung, and the lighting of a ceremonial lamp. Short speeches were given by the Faculty advisor of the IHC Dr. Sneh Kalia and the IHC president Sashank Chennuru, who also served as emcee for the evening.
Chennuru emphasized at the beginning of the presentation that India isn’t just the stereotypes like IT guys. The presentation showed many facets of Indian culture, mostly dances, traditional and Bollywood themed. Two young girls performed one of the traditional dances, “Mohiniattam”. “Mohiniattam” literally translates to “dance of the enchantress”. For this, dancers traditionally wear jasmine flowers on their head, a golden belt, and dancing bells worn on their legs. The dance involves a broad swaying of the hips and gentle movements of an upright posture from side to side. Elementary education major Melanie Yoon said this was a highlight of the presentation for her. Yoon said she liked that the club invited children to perform for India night.
A couple highlights of the show came from the men of the India Heritage Club. Several men performed the “Bhangra” traditional dance, which involved a few flips from the men and the men swinging each other around. That was followed by several men performing a contemporary song called “Adath”.
Dr. Ravidra Kalia gave a PowerPoint presentation titled “India Unleashed” that gave an overview of some of the historical figures of India, the technological, medical, and scientific advancements made by Indians, including wireless communication, surgery, and yoga.
Information assurance major Sai Shiuthi Veerannagara performed the traditional dance “Kuchipudi”, which she described as dancing peacefully. Veerannagara said she is praying to the gods in this “melodious” dance. Veerannagara said she had only one day of rehearsal for India night, which wasn’t a big feat for her because she has been dancing since childhood.
Midway through the presentation dinner was served. The dinner included Rice Papad, Tomato Dal, Aloo Matter Masala, Palak Chicken, Chicken Chettinad, Hyderabad Dum Biriyani, and Kheer.
Following the dinner more songs were performed and a “Bollywood mashup” of dances from Bollywood movies were performed from movies including ‘Ramleela”. A mash-up of Telugu songs were performed by Karthik Rangisetty. Telugu is the third most spoken language in India.
TESL major Crystal Geng said she thought the PowerPoint presentation and the dancing was very good. Geng said attended India night because she has a great interest in Indian culture and she enjoys the food.