Indian culture and stories shine at annual India Nite

Megan Fischer

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Photos by Megan Fischer.

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Bright and colorful clothing and lively music filled the stage at the Lincoln Center Saturday night during India Nite, hosted by Colorado State University’s India Student Association.

The organization’s members worked to put on the over three hour-long India Nite. Some of the performances have backgrounds relating strongly to Indian culture and stories, while others have experience with more modern types of dance.

“It’s the biggest festival that we put on, and we put a lot of effort into getting this done,” said Rashmi Murthy, a Ph.D. student in math.

Murthy has danced at India Nite for five years and says she enjoys taking part in the event rooted in her home culture, where dance has a deeper meaning.

“It reminds me of home,” Murthy said. “Dance is a way of showing our gratitude and happiness for all of the blessing in our lives.”

Murthy danced a traditional Indian dance called Bharatanatyam, which she said is known to be one of the oldest forms of dance — she said “there are scriptures that talk about it from the start of the common era.” It is rooted in a mythological Indian story.

“What we danced today is a portrait of lord Krishna’s life,” Murthy said. “What we portrayed is kind of a dance drama where he comes in and he tries to steal butter, his mom finds him and she gets angry when she tries to ask him what he was doing, he shows the entire universe in his mouth.”

One of the dances performed at India Nite. (Video by Megan Fischer.)

Murthy said she likes preforming these types of dances because she likes the stories they tell.

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“I do like mythology a lot, and it’s fun to portray them in the emotions on my face,” she said.

Some of the dances students performed at India Nite had strong cultural backgrounds, while others were more modern and mixed with other cultures and types of dance.

“The Marathi dance that they did is performed every year in our temple for the goddess,” Murthy said.

The Indian Student Association hosts India Nite every fall to share Indian culture and food with students and residents of Fort Collins. The event is free and open to the public.

Collegian Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegFischer04.