Behind the scenes of Townsend’s biggest FON: Indian Bollywood

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With FON right around the corner, Harrisites are getting ready for their performances in this student led production. With FON sizes varying from 4 to about 150 members, leaders and FON members alike continue to strive for perfection on Friday.

Bollywood FON, colloquially known to students as the “senior FON,” is taking this year’s slot once again for the largest FON, with over 150 members in a mixture of Kathak, Indian folk, and jazz. This year, Bollywood FON is led by seniors Amina Chowdhury and Aisha Nawal, differing from previous years as Bollywood usually has a total of 4 FON leaders. 

Amina explained that a typical week of practice for Bollywood FON is rather hectic due to the decrease in leaders. With that in mind, there were many changes in order to finish the dances for these performances. Amina stated that her co-leader and she  “had to double up on practices, so [they] would hold two dances [or] songs each day.”

Choreographing for that many individuals can become quite the challenge, but according to Amina, “the hard part [is] setting placement.” The sheer amount of FON members can be perceived as a disadvantage when trying to fit everyone into ten dances. Amina said, “There are so many people and it’s tricky when [Aisha and I] do formations.” 

Even with fewer leaders, Bollywood FON continues to bring joy to its members. Junior Riya Sakpal, a member of Bollywood FON, said, “Being in Bollywood is so much fun! I feel like I’m embracing my culture with the people I love and having fun while doing it… This year’s leaders did a phenomenal job of selecting music and choreographing dances that fit the culture.”

Senior Afrida Khalid, who joined Bollywood FON for the first time this year, enjoyed finally participating in this popular FON as well as representing her culture. “I joined Bollywood because it feels like most of the senior class joins it every year and I wanted to keep up with that tradition… The costumes are always really fancy and I had always looked forward to joining eventually.”

Riya added, “This year is different from last year because the leaders tried something new with the costumes. The assorted colors for the dresses adds a taste of true Indian culture with its fun colors to match the lively music.”

It is tradition for Bollywood FON to go last and end the show, and this year is no different. “The significance of Bollywood going last every year is to show the popularity of [its] culture and fon,” Amina said. “[It] also shows the importance of being brown in our school.”  

FON premieres this Friday, February 28, and Saturday the 29.

Photo by Katrina Dydzuhn, photography editor.

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