Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How we roll in the Dirty Third

This weekend I had the privilege of sneaking [no, for real] into Vanderbilt's Masala-SACE Diwali performance. Apparently, those in the know know. These kids were not playing. For $11 you got an all-you-can-eat buffet and a 2.25 hour show! [Photo from 2005.]

And that brings me to how we roll in the Dirty Third. I have to admit a great deal of the amusement to me was the apparent fascination (obsession?) with hip-hop a few of the guys had. It's no more odd than me and Bollywood but still a surprise. Maybe I was just in "Diwali" mode as opposed to "117 college students showing off for their friends" mode.

There was this running skit with four of the guys being college-y and one of them was imitating Lil' John complete with dreadlock wig. I wonder how that would fly outside the third coast. I don't get 'crunk' style. I really don't. [I'm east coast FO LIFE!] I'll let it slide though. There were enough black folks in the production this year to tip the brown scale to the dark side.

Believe it, the white folks were out in full force as well. As I heard some kid say before the show, "I know! There's as many non-Indian students as Indian." It slipped out of his mouth just as I entered his peripheral vision. I'm not hating, I hear him though.

That unskillful segue brings me to my favorite part of the show--the spoken word. It was performed as a skit with two opposing couples at dinner. Y'all, I knew it was about to go down when they said it was about arranged marriage vs. love marriage but I was next to tripping when I realized that the girl speaking in favor of arranged marriage was--gasp--black like me.

Ok, ok, she wasn't black like me, she was about 4 shades lighter which meant that under the stage lights, with her silky straight hair and salwar kameez, one might not notice as she poured chai for everyone seated before looking to her "husband" for approval to sit. Her delivery gave her away though--crisp spoken syllables with a sing-song lilt. It sounded like spoken word as I'm used to hearing it. The others were a bit more loose in their form. Overall it was great though.

The dance teams were amazing! It was a lot of fun to watch. There were over 100 performers. Every thing was pretty varied and the remixes they used were hot to death! It was mostly modern-ish filmi stuff, a little hip-hop, one classical (bharatanatyam) piece and of course a big bhangra number. Next year I'll be prepared. The class of 2008 better come with it!


naina said...

how funny, i thought my friends and I were the only late-twenty-somethings who love going college culture shows. although the skits tend to leave much to be desired, the dancing is always spectacular. but why'd you have to sneak in?

t-hype said...

I was really broke all week so I waited until Friday to buy tickets and by then Saturday was sold out. Except for ONE seat. I'm thinking, "No big deal, I'll figure something out" and bought the one ticket.

When me and my friend got there on Saturday, something ended up being sneaking!! It was literally standing room only...

Susania said...

I'm still sad I had to miss it! But next year I'll plan better...!

DesiDancer said...

dude, T... you *know* half the crown glory of Vandy is its med school. Med School = lotsa desis. You should have known better and booked in advance! ;)

Actually my cousin performed at the diwali culture show for a few years while she was in-- wait for it-- med school.

Vandy needs to commission a dance from me, I think.