While my role in the International Bazaar may have changed from actor to audience, my role as a dancer for the India Student Association has not. This year, I was a performer for ISA’s Diwali Night for the 3rd consecutive year! For those not aware, Diwali Night is an Indian holiday akin to a festival of lights that happens around this time every year. The India Student Association celebrates this event by holding an annual Diwali Night at OU, complete with dances, singing, and really really good food. Now, you would think that doing this event semesterly would make the dances easier. I disagree. A lot. The choreographers I have had always have super wonderful and elaborate ideas for their dances that take lots of power and grace to execute correctly, while I pretty much walk around like a baby giraffe on stilts. However, they are always very patient (and run practices every night for a month before the performance) and eventually we produce something like this:
This was a dance dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh. Our choreographer, Dhanya, told us that a lot of the moves and poses we created in the dance were actually religious symbols, which I thought was super cool. In my opinion, the best (and most elaborate) part of the dance is when two of my fellow dancers get on the shoulders of two other dancers and make two elephants. We were all terrified of someone falling though, hence why another dancer and I are holding their backs. Then, while keeping the girls balanced, we had to squat and sway in sync with the dancers holding them, who had to squat and sway at the same time and the same distance as the person helping them hold their dancers up. If they moved too far or too fast, the girls would have fallen off, so it took extreme precision (and lots of trust) to get everyone in sync in that part of the dance!