Published June 19, 2014
There was a full house in the Center for the Arts Mainstage theater on Feb. 22 as the Indian Student Association (ISA) won the 2013 International Fiesta cultural dance competition with a performance titled “Rajwinder and Hemchandra’s Wedding.”
ISA joined the Japanese Student Association, Latin American Student Association, Malaysian SA, Chinese SA and Filipino SA in fielding competition acts in the sold-out event.
And as in every competition, teams want to win. But when asked about winning, members of ISA were the only participants who insisted that International Fiesta is about promoting culture and that “winning would be a bonus.”
“Our main goal is to promote the culture and educate the general public about the Indian culture,” said ISA President Mira Pandya.
This year’s theme was “love” and ISA’s dance followed a storyline of three friends reunited at Rajwinder and Hemchandra’s wedding. They look back at how each of them found their true love. Each couple performed a different dance to represent where in India they were from and how they fell in love. Returning to the present, the couples joined the guests in celebrating the newly wedded couple.
Since ISA began recruiting its International Fiesta team last fall, the 40 team members not only practiced their dance steps, they also prepared beautiful and unique traditional costumes to complement the dance.
In addition to the competition acts, several exhibition acts performed at International Fiesta, among them Saung Budaya, a renowned Indonesian dance group. The dancers incorporated delicate glassware into their performance. The female dancers balanced glassware on their head and later aligned porcelain plates in a circle and walked on them.
The theater was filled with people from different walks of life, notably international students coming to support their clubs and learn about different cultures.
“I’m from Singapore, it’s my first time semester in UB and my first time participating in this event,” said Denise Chia. “It was an eye-opener for me, being able to learn about the different cultures through dance is a great idea.”