First-ever South Asian dance competition to be held at Seton Hall this spring

Correction: SHUSaba is not hosting the Muqabla competition. It is an independently operated event. Tripathi is the co-director of Muqabla and the co-captain of SHUSaba.

Seton Hall’s Indian Fusion dance team, SHUSaba, will host its first-ever Indian Fusion Dance competition on March 28. “Muqabla” will be a South Asian Dance competition with teams from different universities.

“We chose the name ‘Muqabla’ because ‘Muqabla’ in Hindi and Urdu means competition, so we thought that was really appropriate,” Niki Tripathi, a junior marketing and management major and co-director of SHUSaba, said.

The team has participated in several competitions. Last year, the team performed at a Bollywood Fusion Dance Competition at the New York Institute of Technology and the team took home second place. Additionally, SHUSaba has represented Seton Hall at Stony Brook University and St. John’s University.

Co-director Chelsea Reji, a senior social and behavioral sciences major, and Tripathi explained that Muqabla will help further establish Seton Hall’s Indian Fusion Dance team as a force within the greater collegiate South Asian dance circuit.

Image courtesy of Niki Tripathi
The competition is set to showcase dances that fuse classical Indian dance with Western dance.

The co-directors explained the tasks they must complete to organize this large-scale event. They detailed jobs such as reaching out to a number of collegiate dance teams and trying to figure out all the production elements like lighting and sound. They are set to invite five to 10 teams.

The competition is a new initiative created by the dance team and the South Asian Student Association. This project is set to showcase dances that fuse classical Indian dance with Western dance.

“I feel like Seton Hall definitely has a good variety of cultural clubs and activities, and the University is very welcoming of all creeds,” Tanmay Patel, a freshman mathematics major, said. “I don’t think that there are any gaps in Seton Hall’s cultural scene, but the new competition will build upon the existing culture.”

All students are welcome to view the competition and cheer on their fellow Pirates. Reji and Tripathi hopes the event will increase the visibility of SHUSaba as many students may not be familiar with the dance team.

“I’d love to go watch the competition with friends, it’s always great to learn about other cultures and share in their experiences and seeing people compete in something that they’re passionate about,” Patel said.

For Reji and Tripathi, organizing Muqabla is more than a fun activity, it’s a way to give back to the community and leave a legacy before they graduate.

Tripathi said, “We realized we both saw that this was lacking at Seton Hall and we wanted to create it before we both graduate and we wanted to be able to leave that legacy at Seton Hall, so we wanted to get it rolling as fast as possible.”

Liam Brucker-Casey can be reached at liam.bruckercasey@ student.shu.edu.

Author: Liam Brucker-Casey

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