International Night, Diversity Day keep dance groups busy

Mansi Pathak

MV Bhangra and Raas-Garba perform back to back for Diversity Day and International Night




Freshman Ashmitha Rajendran of MV Bhangra performs the Diversity Day assembly on April 1. The assembly featured musical and dancing acts from Indian, Turkish, Korean, and Chinese cultures. Photo by Elvin Wong.

April 1 felt like a world tour for MV Bhangra and Raas-Garba as they performed for two filled crowds in the Main Gym and another district-wide evening show–all in the name of diversity. With Diversity Day and International Night scheduled for the same day, the MV Raas-Garba and Bhangra teams represented Indian dance along with Lynbrook’s Bhangra team and a Bollywood dance group from.

Though Interact officers had to schedule around Diversity Day rehearsals for the two groups, they were sure that their event would be just as much of a success as usual.

“Last year International Night and [Octagon’s Cure Cancer Cafe] were on the same day, but both venues actually sold out,” said Interact officer senior Andrew Shiah. “Because International Night includes a lot of groups from other schools, the audience is really reflective of that.”

Bhangra and Raas-Garba rigorous rehearsal schedules and back-to-back performances for Diversity Day and International Night took their toll on the groups, but not enough to detract from the adrenaline rush of performing for full crowds.

“The biggest issue we had last year was people feeling fatigue. For guys, their paghs–the head turbans they wear–are really tight so a lot of them were facing headaches,” said Bhangra captain senior Deepthi Mahesh. “They all got over it though because the excitement kind of makes up for it all.”

This year, Bhangra faced another challenge. As their elaborate costumes were shipped in the week before the shows, the Bhangra captains found that they were one outfit short. When the shipment hadn’t arrived by Friday, the team switched out the missing outfit with an outfit from last year and went on with their performance as if nothing had gone wrong.

According to Mahesh, the performances got progressively better as the day goes on. Even with waning energy, she was quick to call International Night the best of the day.

“I think the third time’s the charm.”