In light of uncertainty surrounding pandemic, ICAC officers propose alternative plans for a delayed Bombay in the Bay

November 20, 2020 — by Kaasha Minocha

Seniors Irika and Irith Katiyar smile while performing for the grade act in Bombay in the Bay 2019.

With help from assistant principal Matt Torrens, officers have discussed different ways, either virtually or in-person, to hold the event, which will most likely take place in April.

Last year's Bombay in the Bay (BNB) took place in the middle of February. Even then the coronavirus was circulating around the world.

As it turned out, BNB was among the last in-person major school events that took place before the mid-March lockdown.

Fast forward to late 2020, the officers  of the Indian Cultural Awareness Club (ICAC) — seniors Neeti Badve, Mithil Chakraborty, Isha Garlapati, Irika Katiyar, Irith Katiyar, Jasmin Reddy and Proby Shandilya — are confronting the reality of having to put on a very different – and perhaps — virtual show in April.

With the guidance of assistant principal Matt Torrens, the officers have come up with three plans that would move BNB to April. However, none of the plans has been chosen as of Nov. 20.

The first is a completely virtual plan, where all practices will be on Zoom. The show would either be a live video or a completely prerecorded video. With this plan, because there are no tickets to the show, audience members would be encouraged to donate to a charity of the officers’ choice. 

The second plan entails practices being held in designated spots on campus. Only one act would be at the school at a particular time, and the ICAC officers would organize a calendar to keep track of which acts are practicing. 

Each act would have two groups, creating two casts for the show. This would mean fewer dancers are together at a given time. Because the event typically has two shows, each cast would have two shows, making four shows total. 

The officers would also cut partner dances and prioritize grade dances. Each dance would be three minutes long instead of six.

To ensure maximum safety, dancers would perform on the football field, using tarp covering for certain dances. Officers would ensure that dancers stay socially distanced throughout the event, and dancers would wear masks at all times unless they are performing. 

The third plan resembles the traditional show most closely. The show would happen in the McAfee Center with limited capacity than usual, and the performers and audience would stay socially distanced. This plan would only happen if the school was in Phase 4 of the district’s reopening plan.

Because the officers had not yet discussed the event with principal Greg Louie as of Nov. 20, all of the plans are possible.

Still, officers are concerned that because so many sports may begin next semester, dancers might not have time to perform in the show. They also might not be allowed to practice together because of a potential cohort system, where a student can only stay in one cohort for an activity and cannot join any other cohort. 

“Everyone’s kind of bummed because Bombay in the Bay is about performing in front of a big audience,” Irith said. “That's probably not going to happen this year, but we're all optimistic about trying to make it happen even during these times.”