The Indian American Student Association, one of the University’s largest student-run organizations, holds its 25th annual cultural show at Hill Auditorium this evening at 7 p.m.
Organizers hope the show, “Sandhi: The Essence of Harmony,” has more of a connection with the audience than in years past.
“This year, it’s a lot more focused on the audience seeing the connection as opposed to how it was before just a lot of people come in and watch 20 or 30 kids dance,” said LSA senior Dhruv Menawat, the show’s coordinator said. “It used to just be people dancing without a purpose. This year, we are trying to take the show to a greater level to incorporate a theme.”
That theme, he said, is centered around music. The instruments used in this year’s show aims to highlight characteristics and traits of India and its different parts.
“Each instrument artistically depicts a unique characteristic to show that all these different instruments and sounds come together to form a unique music or harmony that resonates in all of us that are Indian descent — whether they were born there or not,” Menawat said. “It’s those characteristics and traits that resonate in each and every one of us.”
About 220 IASA members will dance during the show. Before the performance, a video will be shown to introduce the dance and its connection to the overall theme.
Menawat said a video will commemorate the occasion.
IASA founder Sam Shekhar, along with other group board members, will be honored at the show.
Each year, IASA chooses a nonprofit group to partner with to organize the show. The goal each year is to raise at least $10,000 to benefit the charity. This year, the group partnered with Manav Sadhana, an Indian charity that supports impoverished children in the country.
Gaurav Parnami, an MBA student, volunteered in India with Manav Sadhana for 20 months and was contacted by IASA Core Council members to form the partnership this year.
“We provided these kids with childhood fun and games in the afternoon so at least they can be kids for a bit,” he said.
Now, it has evolved it providing this to the kids through community development as well as formal and informal education experiences.
During his time in India, Parnami mentored the kids similar to a Big Brother-Big Sister program.
“I ended up learning more than I could of possibly provided,” Parnami said. “It’s more about looking and learning about their education projects and seeing how we can effectively develop ways to reach more people.”
Tickets for show are $12 from the Michigan Union Ticket Office and at ticketmaster.com. Doors open shortly before 6:30 p.m.