Bollywood Berkeley dance competition reunites SHS alumni on stage

February 13, 2009 — by Neyha Bhat and Aditi Jayaraman

Those who know of “Bombay in the Bay,” the Indian Cultural Awareness Club’s (ICAC) annual Indian culture show on campus, know that members take it very seriously. What most of them do not know, however, is that many former ICAC members and Saratoga High alumni continue the tradition of Indian dancing in college as well. At this year’s “Bollywood Berkeley” dance contest held by UC Berkeley, nine alumni will compete with teams from their respective universities for the first place prize of $2000.

SHS ’07 alumni Rohit D’Costa, Devi Narasimhan, Kavan Sabnani, Varun Sivaram, and Nickesh Viswanathan, along with ’08 alumni Elli Rezaii, Sabrina Rohatgi, and Nikhil Sheel will be taking part in the competition on Feb. 27. D’Costa, Narasimhan and Sabnani will be performing with UC San Diego’s “K.Y.A”, Sivaram with Stanford’s “Dil Se”, Viswanathan with UC Berkeley’s “Ishaara” and Rezaii, Rohatgi, and Sheel with UC Davis’s “Toofan”. They will also be up against teams from UCLA, UC Irvine, USC and Northwestern University.

The winner of “Bollywood Berkeley” will receive a bid to compete against the best teams in other genres of Indian dance at the “Best of the Best” dance competition in San Francisco later this year. The student-run Indus Coalition which oversees all South Asian events held at UC Berkeley expects over 2000 people to attend “Bollywood Berkeley” this year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of my friends who all performed together in ‘Bombay in the Bay’ last year and years before, back on stage together again, even if they’re competing against one another,” said senior Kushal Shah, who plans on attending the show. “It should be pretty interesting to watch.”


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