Dancers perform in traditional outfits at UGA India Night. Organized by UGA's Indian Cultural Exchange, this year's event will occur on Feb. 1 at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

The University of Georgia’s Indian Culture Exchange will host its annual UGA India Night, the largest and most anticipated event held by the organization.

India Night is a dance competition featuring eight teams of Bollywood-fusion performers from all across the country. Four judges from different dance backgrounds will collaborate and crown three winning groups who will receive an honorary trophy. Competing teams include Nazaare from North Carolina State, Surya from the University of Connecticut and Taara from the University of California Santa Barbara.

“You can expect a night filled with dancing, excitement and overall fun,” said Akanksha Sharma, a sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major who serves as logistics chair for the event.

Expecting a turnout of over 2,000 people, UGA ICE has put in nearly a year’s worth of work planning this production, said Ishan Vaish, a sophomore biochemistry and psychology major who serves as the organization’s social justice and service chair.

UGA ICE formed informally in 1992 and has grown into the largest multicultural organization at the university. The group has received two Student Organization Achievement and Recognition (SOAR) awards for Outstanding Campus Event (Large) and Most Innovative Program, for UGA India Night and its Mental Health Monday events, respectively.

India Night itself has grown from a small showcase for UGA students to show off their dance techniques to the nationwide competition it is today. College Bollywood-fusion dance teams from all over America submit audition tapes to the UGA ICE in attempts to land a spot on the Classic Center stage in February, Vaish said.

UGA’s South Asian a cappella group Kalakaar will perform the national anthem and selections they have competed with this season.

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