SASA show spices up tradition

Traditional and modern elements of music, dance and comedy were effectively combined Saturday night when the South Asian Students’ Association presented its annual cultural show to an appreciative audience that filled Salomon 101 to capacity.

The title of this year’s show, “Mazaa,” which is the Hindi word for pleasure, was an apt billing for the 13-act show, which struck a dynamic balance between the old and new.

Whether from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or the Maldives, a number of South Asian cultures influenced the music, song, dance and comedy fetchingly presented by the show.

There were kaleidoscopically colored garments in the Bollywood-inspired “Fashion Show,” choreographed by Afshan Ajmiri ’08, and rhythmically powerful music in the piece “East Meets West,” ably performed by percussionist Akshay Rathod ’10 and guitarist James Hinton ’10.

The performance “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha,” a song from the classic Bollywood movie “1942: A Love Story,” provided a special treat as it ended with a serenade to a member of the audience.

In addition to displaying South Asian culture, the show created a bridge to contemporary American music and comedy.

A performance of South Asian dance and hip-hop, “Infusion” featured choreography by Brown Badmaash and included an Indian remix of Usher’s 2004 pop classic “Yeah.”

Particularly effective were the comedy sketches, displayed on a screen between several of the acts. Humorously parodying both American and South Asian culture, these clips animated the crowd with barreling laughter. The emcees – Shyam Sundaram ’08, Binayak Mishra ’08 and Kumar Vasudevan ’08 – deftly provided hilarious comedy to the show.