U of Illinois and UC Berkeley Win ‘With Attitude’
Eight minutes go quickly when watching a garba dance. On Saturday Feb. 10, UC Irvine’s Indian Sub-Continental Club held their fifth-annual garba performance competition at the Fine Arts Complex at Cal State Los Angeles. ‘Garba With Attitude’ is the premiere competition of its kind on the West Coast and continues to gain popularity each year.
Garba is a traditional Indian partner dance characterized by brilliant costumes and intricate choreography. It requires a good deal of athleticism to execute the energetic moves and keep up with the fast pace. Dancers choreograph their own routines and often choose a unique theme that incorporates pop culture. In addition, each performance must include at least one minute of raas, a dance characterized by using long sticks. Originally performed in honor of Hindu gods, today it is a way for young Indian-Americans to stay connected to their roots.
The ISC created ‘Garba With Attitude’ as an outlet for the creative expression that garba provides. Club members work hard all year to produce the show and take pride in its success, and were especially excited that Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez attended and spoke at the show this year.
‘When someone of that caliber comes, it gives the show more prestige [and] gives us more credibility,’ said Sunny Patel, third-year civil engineering major and the president of ISC.
In addition to putting on a successful show, the ISC raised over $1,000 for the charity Phoenix Relief, which provides medical aid in poor areas of India.
Although advertised as starting at 5 p.m., the lights dimmed at 6 p.m. to allow the latecomers to get settled in their seats. The delay did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the audience, who began cheering as soon as the curtain lifted and continued throughout the night.
The show began with a singer from UC San Diego singing the national anthem, followed by a video montage of the 10 teams on the program. Schools from across the nation were represented with participants from Cornell, Boston and Michigan State to locals UCLA and UC Berkeley.
Although UCI has a garba dance team, they are independent of the ISC to ensure there is no bias during the competition. UCI’s ‘Mitraas of the Caribbean’ performance got a huge reception