In just a few days, the Mainstage Theater will be adorned with dynamic dancers, colorful costumes, and vibrant vocalists as members of UC Santa Cruz’s Indian Student Association (ISA) take to the stage for their 20th annual cultural show. 

Taza Tal is UCSC’s South Asian fusion dance team.

UCSC Raas is a dance team that performs the traditional folk dance from the state of Gujarat.

Dubbed “A Journey Through India,” the playbill has performances from organizations including Taza Tal and UCSC Raas. The show includes a classical dance fusion du and a solo vocal performance, all pieced together through the ongoing love story of the characters. “A Journey Through India” is showing starting on April 16 at the UCSC Mainstage. 

“Holding this show is very special to us, considering the fact that we as a minority will be bringing ourselves to such a highly coveted space like Mainstage,” Tanushri Akula, the director of the show, wrote in an email. “Being on Mainstage is truly an honor and everyone who is currently a part of the show feels a sense of pride, knowing that members of their community are being represented on stage.” 

Written as a classic love story, the plot of the show follows two lovers, one from north India and one from the south. Breaking down the unspoken cultural differences between the two sides, the play is written in the hopes for students to find aspects to relate to. 

Pulling together different art forms and cultural expression from across the larger subcontinent,  the cultural show emphasizes the significance of diversity that the Indian student population holds at UCSC. Sri Anam, one of the organizing interns for the ISA, says that one of the goals of the show is to offer support for the UCSC’s South Asian community. 

“Hopefully, it encourages people to not be scared of their culture,” Anam said. “[The show] is a chance to explore the culture from a lens that is separate from our parents. We’re throwing events on our own accord. We’re pursuing this stuff because we want to, not because our mom’s making us go to the temple.” 

“A Journey Through India” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on April 16, 2022 at Mainstage. Tickets are available here

Orange lights beam down on two performers, as one spins the other under their arm in a dance-like motion.
Members of the ISA Fashion Show for the event also had a run-through during rehearsal, resulting in a spin at center stage as the next set of people waited in the wings.