What do you get when you combine glamour, colour, music, dance, comedy and far too many Asian related jokes to count? It can only be LSA’s Fusion: The Bollywood Show. This was quite easily one of the biggest culture events of the year and the fact every seat was full undoubtedly proves it.
The key concept of the show is to showcase South Asian culture and highlight their flair of cutting-edge fashion, live performances, incredible music, hilarious comedy and outstanding dancing. All this while also raising a huge amount of money for charity with this year’s support going to The Hope Foundation and Interpal, the night was one to remember. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is purely an Asian affair, anyone is welcome as shown by other amazing and talented acts from a wide range of cultural backgrounds all included in the show too!
The night kicked off with a phenomenal solo performance by second year, Broadcast Journalist student Shanaay Mansur. She cleverly combined a mix of street dance, belly dance and traditional Indian vibes creating a memorable performance that gave the show a legendary start.
This was then followed by a dazzling fashion show, which wouldn’t go a miss at London, Paris and New York’s fashion weeks. The models showcased a mixture of traditional Indian and contemporary fashion, intertwining the best of western and eastern designs all from Leeds and Bradford based designers. The show was an outstanding success and to say I was desperate for some of the outfits is an understatement. I could feel my bank balance reducing with every step the models took.
Next up was a soulful performance by third year, medical student Naeem Ali whose voice was beautifully accompanied by his fantastic guitar playing. You could practically feel the air around him being serenaded, as pointed out by the hosts of the show.
Then it was time for a stand out performance by the fantastic Street Dance society. It’s easy to see why they won Best Dance Society last year at the Riley Awards as well as winning first place at the LUU inter-dance competition. Their performance was incredible and all of the dancers had got serious talent. A mix of solo and formation, not a foot went out of place and it’s clear the team are in sync with each other too. I sense another award title won’t be far off with performances like that!
Yogita Yarlagadda brought a real sense of South Asian culture to the show with her lovely performance of Hindi song. And even though I’m not fluent in Hindi, it sounded good to me!
The first act was rounded up with a performance on epic proportions by Vibes, the official Leeds University Bollywood Dance Society. I was gripped by every performers move and was desperate to get up on stage and join them. You could sense that every single one of the team was enjoying every minute and it’s clear not only are they an incredible dance team but also true friends too.
Now normally in an interval it’s a time to take a quick break, maybe grab a drink and go to the toilet. But oh no not when LSA Soc are running the show. The interval is a whole celebration in itself! Every performer, audience member and just a few lucky passers-by of the union were treated to an incredible amount of traditional Indian cuisine. All free of charge! To say the Onion Bhajis and Vegetable Samosas were exquisite was an understatement! I’d have paid the ticket price just for the buffet!
Once everyone’s stomachs were well and truly full and the performers had their quick break the second half kicked off and it certainly wasn’t letting the first half show it up. Starting with the very funny comedian, third year medic, Kiran Morjaria. The whole audience were in fits of laughter from the start of his set right to the last few words. To find out he is a member of comedy sketch group FRESH MILK and THE LEEDS IMPROFESSIONALS would be of shock to no one. I hear Edinburgh Fringe calling!
The audience were then delighted with a culture of another kind with the fabulous Irish Dance society putting on a stunning show. Leeds University really has got talent in all dance styles and with the Irish Dance society increasing in their numbers and winning more and more titles we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!
Next up was third year physics student, Hana El-Haroun whose stunning performance was better than most X Factor finalists (and would probably sell more records too!) Watch this space as we may have just seen the next rising star…
That’s if you weren’t blinded by the bling on the belly dancers costumes! The audience became fixated on the beautiful dancers and their colourful, sparkly outfits to match. The Belly Dance society girls all deserve huge praise for their performance. Plus I think it’s only fair for a shout out to go to the hosts of the show’s attempt to shimmy on stage too adding just another comical element to an already brilliant show.
Now I can’t even sing well in English. So the fact that Abhishek Rampal could hold a tune in Hindi and Punjabi puts things on a whole other level. How he managed to master such complicated songs with such flair goes beyond me.
The penultimate part of the show was one of the best parodies of any show I have ever seen. Nainerella is the Bollywood take on the Disney classic Cinderella and could have become an all-time classic in itself. From the fantastic acting by all the cast, to the side-splittingly funny comedy and multimedia element shown by an ultra-stylish vlogger style video. No one could deny the show was outstanding. From all of the cleverly choreographed dance routines, to the songs and some unscripted comedy involving a hilarious ripping of the trouser incident. Not one member of the audience will be able to forget this play for a long long time!
Just when you think the show couldn’t get any better the final act of the night goes and proves me wrong! LSA Indiance gave yet another stand out performance. The energy on stage was unbelievable and the stage was alive with excitement, fusion and passion generating a quite unforgettable performance. It was a fabulous end to a remarkable show and one that will be engraved into my memory for the foreseeable future. Don’t believe me just watch the video below. I look forward to my invite next year!