South Asian-themed Sangamam a success

Dining, dancing and drama filled the Union Ballroom this Saturday, March 24, as Shakti presented Sangamam 2007. Students from all different years, organizations and backgrounds came together in one of the most lively cultural celebrations of the year.

The event began at 6 p.m., with a buffet serving a variety of spicy dishes, including vegetable biryani, chole, aloo gobi, chicken tikka, vegetable raita, samosas and mango ice cream for dessert. The flavors were a dramatic contrast to the menus of cafes and dining halls on campus, although CAS played a large role in preparing for the event. Everything served was excellent, and after almost everyone had taken seconds and drained the water from the coolers, the entertainment began.

The show was emceed by sophomore Haleema Murtaza and Ahmed Sikh. Titled "Six Knights in India," it was the story of a group of Geneseo students who take a trip to India for Spring Break, only to be stranded there a few minutes after their arrival. The story is written with a humorous mix of characters and dialogue.

Regular scenes were interwoven with dance and musical performances. Thirteen incredible dancers took the stage, demonstrating their talent through eye-popping costumes, lights and choreography. Perhaps the most impressive routine came when the Geneseo Bhangra team opened the second half of the show. True to form, every second of the dance was sensational.

Emcees Murtaza and Sikh did equally well engaging the audience between performances. There was great chemistry between them, but they never stole the spotlight from the performers themselves.

Midway through the show, a Powerpoint presentation paid tribute to the senior members of Shakti. Co-president Brad Sickels played a major character in the show and an even bigger role in making it happen. He choreographed almost every dance and musical performance. Co-president Jared Strohl was also essential to the show, and according to other members, to Shakti itself. "We can't imagine Shakti next year without them," said sophomore Shivani Polasani about the seniors of the organization.

Polasani, who played a leading role in "Six Knights," was thrilled with the outcome of the event. "The best part was the process of all of us getting together every night, practicing stuff, messing up our lines and then laughing about it," she said. Joe Kotsis, a junior, was equally pleased. "I really liked the show and it seemed very well-prepared and well-attended."