Dil Se, an enticing celebration of Indian culture


Fiona Zhao

Irvington’s Bhangra crew, which was led by seniors Kanak Garg and Nikita Gupta, performed a stunning closing performance for the first act of the night.

Fiona Zhao, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Jan. 21, Irvington’s Indopak held its eighth annual cultural show Dil Se in Valhalla. As the largest Indian cultural show in the Fremont area, Dil Se brought together Indian dance teams from Irvington, American, Washington, Kennedy, Monta Vista, and Mission San Jose high schools. Dil Se 2017 consisted of twenty performances, one fashion show, and a striking finale and was open at two showtimes, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., each around four hours. With Dil Se’s evening show sold out, all proceedings will go to the Health Foundation for Rural India.

“Dil Se 2017 was definitely one for the books,” senior Shreya Barma, Sitarre captain, said.

Full of vibrant and memorable performances from start to finish, senior Devanshu Kumar, accompanied by the light strums from his guitar, senior Sanjay Gupta’s piano, and junior Rahul Sudharsan’s electric guitar, created a memorable and nostalgic start with his soulful rendition of traditional Indian folk songs. Dance groups from Fremont and Milpitas, accompanied by brilliant professional lighting, performed visually stunning Bollywood dance numbers, often to remixed mashups of modern pop songs and traditional Indian Bollywood or folk music. Sophomores Anushka Shah and Ami Shalabh remixed Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” with a traditional Indian folk song into an emotional duet. The first act concluded with students modeling their intricate costumes, while the second act ended the entire show with a finale thanking the audience.

“Indopak was responsible for the whole show, from holding auditions for the teams to perform to getting food to serve at the show,” senior Shreya Barma, Sitarre captain said.

Dil Se receives sponsorship from local businesses such as Brilliant Minds Academy and Bay Area Dance Costumes, which provided the show’s intricate costuming. Indopak held auditions in late September, and practice began as early as October. According to Irvington Sitarre captain Shreya Barma, members practiced for two hours every Tuesday and Sunday up until a week before the show. During the final week, they practiced daily, including a six hour practice on the day before the show.