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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Bombay in the Bay video process aims to recognize long-time senior participants

Anand Agrawal
Senior Ojas Somani teaches the All-Males Dance (AMD) to members in preparation for their upcoming performance in BNB.

Each year, the Indian Cultural Awareness Club (ICAC) organizes Bombay in the Bay (BNB), a Bollywood-themed fundraising event where students around the school sing and dance to well-known Bollywood songs.

A typical BNB show consists of 18 dances — grade-level dances and specialty dances including Tamasha, Classical, Singing and Bhangra — paired with an ongoing skit throughout the show. Of the many seniors who perform during the show, a handful of them also participate in the All-Girls Dance (AGD) or the All-Males Dance (AMD).

Those in AGD and AMD practice a 9-12 minute dance that they will perform at the end of the show. Right before their performance, a 5- to 10-minute video that introduces each member of the two dances is played to the audience as a tribute to the graduating seniors who performed in BnB for all four of their high school years (due to the pandemic, only three years are required this year).

According to senior ICAC club officer Avani Gupta, the video for the AGD members was recorded over the weekend of Feb. 4, after the majority of the girls learned the dance. Unlike in previous years, where the video centered around themes like “The Bachelorette” or “The Avengers,” the female ICAC officers decided to not have a theme for the video.

Each senior has a 10- to 15-second feature with a name attached to it that encapsulates a certain personality trait that relates to the general theme. In previous years, the videos ended with a sign-off on the “iconic McAfee step scene,” a key tradition where the video closes with all the girls climbing up the steps of the McAfee Center and turning around to face the camera.

However, Gupta and the other officers want to shift away from that scene. Instead of typically wearing all-black to close the scene, the officers decided on wearing lehengas, a traditional Indian dress.

 She and the other ICAC officers have arranged for senior Darren Guo, an avid filmmaker, to edit the video.

Additionally, Gupta said that the girls have decided to include some form of tribute to “thank the parents” of those in AGD for their support over the last four years. In the AGD dance, each member’s costume will include small pins representing their parents in some way.

The video aside, Gupta said that she is mainly focused on teaching the dance to members of AGD than editing the video.

“We have a total of 15 songs and the act is almost nine minutes long,” Gupta said. “Since it’s so long, we finished the choreography over the summer so that we would have more time to teach the dance.”

Although AGD does not have a theme this year, the AMD dance and video will revolve around the TV show “Phineas and Ferb.” The officers started making the AMD mix last July with hand-picked quotes from “Phineas and Ferb” episodes, senior officer Anand Agrawal said.

However, AMD also decided to implement major changes of their own — unlike before, the AMD dance is open to anyone who is willing to join and learn the 11-minute-long dance. The video, however, is only open to those who have participated in BNB for the last three years — those who haven’t will have a significantly smaller role in the video.

“We see no point in limiting the dance to a set of people in order to promote inclusiveness within the show,” Agrawal said.

Another significant change Agrawal and the other male officers implemented is the use of props within the AMD dance — in addition to their video, they are incorporating a mini-skit within the AMD dance and according to Agrawal, “[they] will end up presenting an incredible show.”

While the process can be hard, especially for the organizers and dance choreographers with inconsistent attendance, tight deadlines, and logistical concerns, Agrawal said that the officers hope for a smooth show.

“We honestly just want to present a funny, entertaining show to bring the community together and showcase what BNB is really about,” he said.

Senior Ishir Lakhani called this year’s video theme “nostalgic,” a perfect closing chapter to years of leading and choreographing BNB.

“I think that the videos are a great way to get the performers to show a little bit of their personality and help the audience connect with some of the people that they’re going to see dancing,” Lakhani said. “It’s a good way for the performers to enjoy themselves and really get together before they head off to college and go their separate ways. I think it’s a beautiful thing.”

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