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Freshman Ananya Vuppula is living the Bollywood dream through cultural dance – Portola Pilot




Courtesy of Ananya Vuppula

Freshman Ananya Vuppula and her band perform a Bollywood dance at the SASA cultural show on April 16. They danced to Pinga, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Ghagra. She said her favorite part was dancing with her friends and getting to know them better.

Flashing lights, fancy outfits and dramatic plot might be some of the things that come to mind when thinking about Bollywood. In the kind of film that incorporates different aspects of Indian culture with upbeat cinematography, there is always dance or music that enhances the audience experience.

Freshman Ananya Vuppula particularly finds joy in performing Bollywood dance, a dance form that elaborates on those same hallmarks of the film genre paired with graceful movements and stylistic music.

For Vuppula, Bollywood dance is not only a passion, but also a segway to strengthen her roundness as a dancer. Although she has been dancing Bollywood since the age of six, she has recently started to improve her skills in contemporary dance and hip-hop dance. She says she recently learned that while the spin in Indian dance is on the heel, in the modern style the spin is on the toes.

I always have. It’s the first type of dance I was introduced to and also it’s so upbeat, and even when it’s not upbeat, I can sync the lyrics and I can add emotion to it, so I I feel like it’s a way for me to move, says Vuppula.

Vuppula’s love for Bollywood goes beyond dancing to filmmaking. His favorites are Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Devadas and the films of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Watching such films helped Vuppula learn more about his own culture.

There were films that depicted certain parts of India because India is so big there are so many different religions and languages, Vuppula said. I also learned Hindi by watching movies for so long, and Hindi is not my first language, so I was able to understand other family friends who speak Hindi, and I I was able to speak it too, which is really cool.

[IKSA] is a place where you can express yourself and interact with people. It’s just a way of expressing our culture, so if you want to learn more about Indian culture, it’s just a fun thing to do.”

-Kaushi Palliboyina

Freshman Kaushi Palliboyina has known Vuppula since before kindergarten as a close family friend and witnessed Vuppula’s passion for dancing. Pallliboyina says they were first introduced to Bollywood films when they saw their parents.

I think it really shaped her personality, and it made her the person she is because she’s very attached to Indian culture, and the dance as a whole made her express herself, Paliboyina said.

Although Palliboyina specializes in classical Indian dance, she says she will perform with Vuppula in the on-campus after-school dance showcase outside the dance hall on May 25, where they will dance to Bollywood music.

We choreographed a bit, and it’s like Bollywood songs, and it’s kind of like another showcase we did for SASA, Palliboyina said. [IKSA] is a place where you can express yourself and interact with people. It’s just a way of expressing our culture, so if you want to learn more about Indian culture, it’s just a fun thing to do.




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