Indian fusion dance in Ekal Vidyalaya education
April 26, 2014: Attend most dance performances at the Koger Center, and you’ll find that the crowd is generally fairly hushed, giving their attention and respect to the dancers. Not at Aag Ki Raat, the Night of Fire competition Saturday, April 19, organized each year by USC student members of the Indian Cultural Exchange. “We love it when the audience screams; it gives us energy,” says dancer Priyanka Patel, who is also doing public relations for the event.
Trendy with college students across the country (this year’s competition will feature teams from Drexel University, Duke, Penn State and the University of Virginia, among others) Indian fusion dance blends movements from Indian dances like Bollywood and Bhangra with break dancing, jazz and even ballet. Dancers utilize the entire stage, moving as a group in and out of intricate formations as they dance. Judges look for turns, spins, flowing movements and facial expressions – fierce, say, or girly – that help illustrate the piece being performed, and also take costumes and energy level into consideration.
The competition will raise funds for GlobeMed, which aims to improve the health of people around the world living in poverty and Ekal Vidyalaya, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing education to underprivileged children in rural parts of India.
The Aag Ki Raat competition begins at 5:30 pm at the Koger Center; doors open at 5 p.m. Deli Palace will be on hand to sell Indian delicacies. Tickets are $10 for students, $12 for the general public and $15 at the door.