Tuesday, June 25, 2024

MSU CIUS's annual dance show celebrates Indian culture, unity

March 31, 2024
<p>Michigan State students with the Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students participate in a dance performance during the CISU's annual Satrang dance show at Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan on March 30, 2024. The show boasted dances inspired by hip-hop and Bollywood and featured a theme of bright colors, unity and joy.</p>

Michigan State students with the Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students participate in a dance performance during the CISU's annual Satrang dance show at Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan on March 30, 2024. The show boasted dances inspired by hip-hop and Bollywood and featured a theme of bright colors, unity and joy.

Michigan State University's Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students put on their annual Satrang dance show on Saturday, March 30, at Everett High School. This year’s show was titled “Mayuri,” which means “peacock,” and was meant to impart a theme of vibrant colors, unity and joy. 

CIUS members performed a total of eight different dances, showcasing various styles from across India and America. Members practiced their dances for three months to bring the performances of hip hop, fusion, Bollywood and more to life on the stage. 

“We would usually practice like … one or two times a week, and it'd be like an hour and a half to two hours practice,” human biology sophomore Kanal Patel, who helped choreograph the all girls fusion dance, said. “It's like a lot of commitment and hard work and scheduling and organizing, but it's so so fun.”

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After being introduced with pictures and videos on a projector screen, dancers and choreographers graced the stage in colorful clothing, accompanied by bright lighting, sound effects and energetic music. The auditorium was filled with family, peers and community members who enthusiastically cheered on the performers

Computer engineering junior Zachary Lapidante attended the show to support his friend, who was a dancer in the hip hop group. Lapidante has been watching similar dance shows since high school, but Mayuri was the largest one he has attended so far. Lapidante said he "definitely plans" to come back next year.

“I was very exposed to the culture and would watch all the dance performances,” Lapidante said. “So I know a little bit, but it's really nice to see in person and stuff here at the university.”

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Accompanying the CIUS dances were songs performed by Spartan Spur, a South Asian a cappella group, and additional dance exhibitions from MSU Swara, Spartan Jannat, MSU RaaSparty and Spartan Virasat. 

The night ended with a senior dance, performed by the members of CIUS who are graduating in 2024. After displaying baby photos and current pictures of senior members, they filled the stage for one last dance together

“It's really cute, because it's like, it's not a perfect dance,” neuroscience junior and CIUS president Akarsha Kodali said. “They're having fun, and it's kind of like their one last hurrah before they graduate.”

Each year, CIUS choses a charity to donate all the proceeds from the Satrang event to; this year, the organization was the Sandy Hook Promise Organization. Kodali explained the CIUS e-board thought it was the best choice for their donation this year because its mission to prevent gun violence hits close to home for the MSU community

“I feel like it was very respectful of what happened here,” Lapidante said. “I really appreciate (that) the administration chose to do that.”

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With about 400 members, CIUS is one of the largest clubs on MSU’s campus, and the annual Satrang dance show is their biggest event of the year. Having sold 700 tickets, this years show was another success for CIUS in celebrating dance and Indian culture within the MSU community.

“As like a minority culture at MSU, I think it's really important for us to have a platform or an organization where we can like highlight the things from our background and showcase like how proud we are and help other people stay connected,” Patel said. “I think you don't get that opportunity often.

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