Last Saturday, I went with two of my friends to fulfill another 4-year-long dream: attend a Pao Bhangra performance. Hosted by Cornell Bhangra, it is the largest Bhangra exhibition in North America, pulling teams from all over the country to perform at Barton. This year, NYU, USC, and a few other DC-area teams visited Ithaca. However, none of the teams were as impressive as the Cornell Men. In front of a crowd of 2,600–a new record–the men leapfrogged, swung around, and showcased their hop-skip-and-jumping skills.
The performers’ traditional outfits were visually stunning. With traditional head dresses (turla) and kurta and pants ensemble, they are brightly colored and intricately embroidered. Definitely give props to the men; the garments probably kept in heat, but the performers looked like they were having a ball on stage (shout out to my friend Arjun). The ladies team DC-BC sported color combinations that reminded me of sour gummy worms. Flares of pink-blue and orange-green tones; unfortunately, they did not have my favorite sour gummy worm combo, red-yellow. It was great to see the traditional and contemporary worlds collide, when one Cornell group danced to a remix of MIA’s Paper Planes. The music was hoppin’, and I left Barton ready to rock out!