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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette ISA presents cultural show, Om Shanti Om

Photo by Keifer Russell
ISA performed several dances such as Raas, Bhangra and Mallu.

180 people gathered to watch Marquette’s Indian Student Association perform traditional dancing and represent colorful attire from all sides of India under the bright lights of the Weasler Auditorium, thanks to their annual cultural show.

The theme, Om Shanti Om, was named after the Bollywood movie produced in 2007.

“It’s just a real big love story, as someone falls in love with an actress, but she marries a villain. We portray the movie through a skit that we produced, organized by dance-scene-dance-scene, ” Krishn Patel, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences and ISA’s first-year representative said.

The show featured ten different dance group performances alongside skits and a fashion show. Some dances performed were Bollywood fusion, a senior dance, Raas, dancing through the decades, Bhangra and Mallu. Raas is a traditional folk dance with partners and a pair of wooden sticks that symbolize time. The dances resemble traditional and classical styles from Indian culture.

The dances were choreographed by students and in collaboration with Marquette’s Bhangra Academy, with Raas being performed for the first time in two years after not being able to find a choreographer.

“We gathered moves from previous dances or that we have done at home like traditional Garba moves. We also tried to make the dance modern so we can have fun with it and have everyone enjoy it also,” Hema Patel, Raas choreographer and fashion show coordinator, said.

“Nagada Sang Dhol Baje” was one of the songs used during Raas performances. For the fashion show, “Deewangi Deewangi,” a song from the movie, was playing as models walked.

“We used moves from popular songs that they have done, like using moves from the music video to give a realistic feel and connection to the audience,” Kina Patel, choreographer for Raas and the fashion show coordinator, said.

Kina said Raas and Garba both intertwine, with similar moves such as with Raas being done with wooden colorful sticks and done with partners compared to just dancing.

“There are dances from different subcultures of India, with everyone showcasing their own type of music with all different types of songs. There is also fusion which is like a mixture of American dance moves with Indian music, so it features a wide variety of different South Asian dances,” Hema said.

While being one of the performers for Raas and the fashion show, Krishn made sure that everything was running smoothly behind the scenes.

Krishn said traditional Indian garments are worn throughout the different events during the show and are from all different parts of India like South, North, West and East Indian attire.

Krishn said the cultural showcase allows him to see all the other sides of India he would not otherwise see while getting to know everyone in the club.

The fashion show was dedicated to cultural wear, with everyone being able to wear whatever they feel best in, Hema said.

Krishn said being a part of ISA and events such as the show is something that he has embraced all his life and that having such a big community helps him to see different representations of his culture.

“We run this show because we want to teach others about the Indian culture. A bunch of my friends come to the show and see the different garments we wear, the different dances that we have and the different parts of India that we have. We are expressing ourselves through dance while teaching others about our culture through performance,” Krishn said.

Kina said putting on the show and having many people attend opens them up to a different world, because a lot of people didn’t really know what Indian dances are like, and how many categories there are.

“This really allows them to see that there is so much going on with the Indian culture and this is one of the best ways we can broadcast that, especially with our dance moves and different attire,” Kina said.

Hema said being in college means missing traditions and dancing that would be done at home, and she enjoys the opportunity to incorporate and perform here at Marquette.

“Having the show and being apart of ISA is not only like having a community, but having a bunch of your family with you,” Hema said.

This story was written by Trinity Zapotocky. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Trinity Zapotocky
Trinity Zapotocky, Assistant News Editor
Trinity Zapotocky is a sophomore studying Communications and Marketing. She is from Naperville, Illinois and is currently the Assistant News Editor for the Marquette Wire. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching Gilmore Girls, going to the gym, and trying new coffee spots. Trinity is excited to cover important news and grow at the Wire this year.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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