The colors, music, and energy of South Asia will light up Agassiz Theater starting Feb 28 in the Harvard South Asian Association’s annual cultural variety show, Ghungroo, which is directed by Matt W. Yarri ’14, Hania S. Chima ’14 and Karen Xiao ’14.
Featuring punjabi dance styles and dances from across India, the production is student run and features dances, musical acts, and comedy acts performed only by students.
With over 300 dancers, musicians, and artists, Ghungroo is the largest student-run production on campus and is in its 24th production “[This] will be the biggest Ghungroo in history,” co-director Matt Yarri ‘14 says.Ghungroo, the name of the event, comes from an Urdu word for an ankle bracelet worn in traditional Indian dance. Increasing recognition of and involvement about South Asian culture is an important goal of the SAA.
“Ghungroo is an awesome way to [increase awareness],” SAA treasurer Prateek Agarwal ’15 says. “By sharing South Asian culture, Ghungroo tends to bring people of all ethnicities to participate,” he says. No less than half of this year’s performers are of non-South Asian heritage, SAA members say. “We very much pride ourselves on being an open community,” Yarri says.
The production it is open to students of non-South Asian background as well as those with no experience. Yarri says that despite his background in technical production, he will be dancing in the “Bollywood Oldies” act of the performance.Both Yarri and Agarwal are especially excited for Senior Dance, a 20-minute dance medley finale to the show that consist of over 150 performers.
“[Senior Dance is] an exhilarating rollercoaster ride of an act,” Yarri says.The Saturday night performance promises to be especially energetic, Agarwal says. With many alumni returning, including directors and dancers from previous Ghungroos, “the crowd will be rowdy,” he says.