ISA celebrates with fall show

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Elizabeth Scofidio / The University News

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Indian Student Association (ISA) celebrated a night of food, music and dance. ISA provided hundreds of attendees with a full dinner and night of entertainment with their fall show, entitled “Denied is the New Accepted.”

Elizabeth Scofidio / The University News
Elizabeth Scofidio / The University News

Doors opened a little before 6 p.m. for a buffet dinner. Guests filled their plates with Indian dishes, such as pakora (fried vegetables), Methi Malai Chicken and gulab jamun, a dumpling like dessert, and sat at assigned seats, surrounding 48 tables, throughout the ballroom.

After a last call for food, and several people rushing up for seconds, the entertainment of the evening began with a guest performance by Astha, SLU’s fusion a cappella group. Members asked the audience to rise for the singing of both the Indian and U.S. national anthems. Astha continued the set with three more songs that combined Eastern and Western musical traditions into mash-ups, including one of “Mitwa” and “Bigger Than My Body.”

The bulk of the evening’s performances was dances. Each class – freshman through senior – performed a group dance number. A classical dance group, a Bollywood-style dance group, a music group and a guest performance from the Filipino Student Association also occurred during the event.

The performances throughout the night were enthusiastic and full of energy; it was clear that the entire ISA was excited to put on this event for their audience, which was filled with friends and family. Performers sat in the back of the ballroom when they were not onstage and vocally cheered on their peers. Dances throughout the night were sometimes graceful and sometimes more intense. Music ranged from modern to more traditional, showcasing a variety of styles and moods.

The Bollywood-style dance group was a highlight of the show. The group’s performance told a love story through the dance of two college students who are forbidden by their parents to see one another. Of course, the story ended happily.

As a buffer between the various dance and music performances, ISA members performed skits revolving around the idea of being denied and rejected. The comedic skits poked fun at SLU, but added little to the show except length. One skit inexplicably ended with a pie on someone’s face.

Halfway through the performance, ISA’s executive board came onstage.
Members introduced themselves one by one and explained the charity aspect of the evening. ISA supports Manav Sadhna, which is a non-profit, based in Illinois, that works on humanitarian projects in the state of Gujarat in western India.