Bahara Holi show addresses sensitive issues

India Club at Georgia Tech (ICGT) hosted its annual Holi show this past weekend. Much like last year, it did not start on time — hardly surprising considering the sheer number of people who attended. Holi is the Hindu celebration of the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil, though it is now celebrated by many non-Hindus. ICGT celebrates Holi in two parts: Holi playing, where everyone throws colored powder at everyone else, and the Holi show, where different Indian dance groups perform and ICGT officially announces their new co-presidents and thank their board members.

This year’s show was a great improvement on last year’s. For one, there were very few technical difficulties, which made the show run more smoothly. Aside from the massive number of references to the after party and stereotyping of Indians (in good humor), the show consisted of 12 different performances, including the senior dance, and a 10 minute speech at the beginning of the second half by this year’s and next year’s co-presidents. As a general whole, the performers did an amazing job with their respective dancers this year.

However, one or two groups’ performances were not on par with the rest. The only problem with these groups was that the performers were not perfectly in sync with each other and the plot lines their respective dances were supposed to be portraying often did not make sense or were slightly childish, but that didn’t stop the crowd from cheering or the other dancers in the front from periodically standing up in their seats and dancing with them, showing their support.

Subpar performances notwithstanding, a couple other dance groups stood out for entirely different reasons. The fourth group that performed, UAB Rangeela, chose to utilize their time on stage to send an important message about domestic violence. Admittedly, the very beginning of their dance and introduction video were confusing, but as a whole the dance was well performed and no one saw the end coming — which could potentially be said about some domestic violence cases. The message this group tried to portray was simple and powerful: “see something, say something.”

To utilize a situation where several hundred people are watching to address an important issue instead of keeping the performance simple and demure is impressive. It is important to note this does not mean that groups who chose a more playful overall plot for their performance were any less impressive, but rather that the powerful statement UAB Rangeela chose to make with their performance was intense and inspiring.

Another group that managed to send a powerful message was GT Hifaazat, whose storyline was about a man with terminal cancer who saved two best friends from committing suicide. While the plot is a bit reminiscent of “Kal Ho Naa Ho,” the general message of living life to its fullest because no one knows what tomorrow might bring is still relevant — especially considering how stressed, and potentially depressed, many college students are.

Overall many groups did an amazing job. The Bangra Olympics and “Fast and the Furious” references performed by Jazba and Ramblin’ Raas respectively were stunning performances. The last two groups especially elicited a considerable amount of cheers from the audience.

While the show as a whole was impressive, one thing was just as annoying as last year. Like last year, the emcees were introduced in a video. Also like last year, the plot created by the introduction video was not followed throughout the show. Unlike last year, the emcees almost never referred back to their supposed personality traits and occupations (this year they were supposedly con men of various sorts). While most people most likely did not notice this through all the jokes and skits the emcees put on in between the acts, it is one of those little details that should be either utilized or not presented in the first place.

The immeasurable amount of work and effort every single group put into their performance was obvious. The dedication the performers seemed to have had for their respective dances was amazing and inspired interest in their art. When it comes down to it, going to the Holi show was a great way to spend a Saturday evening.