Annual show puts twist on Indian culture

Comedy "Accepted" is theme of this year's performance

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Annual show puts twist on Indian culture

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Photo by Photo by Meredith Gillespie

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The Indian Student Association (ISA) created a cultural show that includes of many aspects of Southeast Asian Indian culture but has added a few new twists by basing it off a nontraditional storyline. ISA’s 20th annual Cultural Show, “Accepted,” will be April 8 at 7 p.m. and April 9 at 6 p.m. in Weasler Auditorium. The show includes dancing, music, acting, fashion and food. Tickets are $10.

Prior to the show, traditional Indian food will be served in the AMU, including samosas and mango lassi. Audiences are encouraged to come early and socialize.

The show is modeled after the Hollywood movie “Accepted.” This is one of the first show that is modeled after a Hollywood movie instead of Bollywood.

“Generally we pick popular Bollywood movies,” Deepa Pardiwala, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences said. “Usually our storylines are cliche, but this year our theme is really unique. ”

The plot of the show is somewhat stereotypical, with a multitude of jokes woven throughout the performance. This is one of the many aspects that ISA members believe make the show enjoyable.

“It was so different from what we’ve done in the past,” said Danny Kaniyaly, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “We thought doing a Hollywood movie that’s more based on college, parents and acceptance, would connect with our audience the best.”

While the show is predominately performed by ISA members, there will be a few featured Indian dance groups in the show, including Mazaa, Marquette’s Bollywood Dance Team.

Jake Philip, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, is a founding member and captain of Mazaa. He is excited to have his team perform in the show but said balancing competitions and the show brings its own set of scheduling challenges.

“Some of the members on the team like to be a part of other dances within the show, which is great because you get to see them try different styles,” Philip said. “Overall it’s very rewarding to see a final product and people enjoying themselves.”

While Mazaa has many talented and experienced dancers, ISA members come from a range of backgrounds. Some of them have never danced.

“It’s a good experience for those who don’t dance,” said Ida Jacob, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences. “One thing I like about our show is that you don’t have to be a great dancer to be a part of it and have fun with it.”

New dances are choreographed each year. Rehearsals for each dance happen individually, but there are rehearsals where everyone involved in the show comes together.

ISA’s executive board has been working around the clock to pull “Accepted” together.

“(Rehearsal) is a lot of logistics,” said Noble Salwan, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “You don’t want to put on a bad show. It really gets so hectic, especially for e-board because we’re in the show.”

“A big role for e-board is to be role models,” said James Jacob, a senior in the College of Health Sciences. “As it is our biggest event, it can be stressful.”

While there have been many long rehearsals, the effort put into the show has been worth it.

“Seeing everyone enjoy themselves, and seeing the show being put together, seeing just how talented these people are, how much energy everyone has, how the show has brought so many people together, I feel like all those aspects make it worth it,” Kaniyaly said.

While performing is satisfactory, Arshdeep Dhaliwal, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said that knowing he gets to perform the show twice is one of the highlights of his experience.

“People are like, ‘Wow, I’m glad that I get to do this again,’” Dhaliwal said. “The ending of the first night is probably the best part. You know that you’re going to get to do it again tomorrow.”

Having two shows was a recent addition to the cultural show. In past years, the executive board wanted to reach more people unable to attend the show. Last year, when they added another show, they got positive responses and decided to repeat the effort.

The show will close with a senior dance and finale, which is a bittersweet moment for all participants. The main goal of ISA is to bring people together. This is a moment that encompasses that goal.

“(The senior dance) reminds us of how our friendship grew over the course of the years,” Salwan said. “It shows that in the form of dance. I’m going to miss it a lot.”

ISA members feel a performance high after each show, and they hope audiences get a glimpse into Indian culture.

“A lot of friends and family are coming to the show,” Pardiwala said. “I want them to see that (students) don’t forget their culture.”

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