"East Meets West is all about nurturing hidden talent through inclusiveness."
East Meets West is a student run multicultural show that culminates the talent across Imperial College and showcases a cornucopia of cultures. It is the longest running student show in the UK and its 22nd edition will be held in London.
The purpose of the evening is to raise money for charity whilst enjoying a show highlighting a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures through various art forms including dance, drama and music.
Despite being organised by the Imperial College Indian Society, East Meets West displays an array of dance and musical acts from all over the world, truly embracing the vibrancy of cultures from around the globe.
In terms of Eastern dance forms there is a variety ranging from Bollywood to Bhangra, Bharatnatyam to Gaana.
Intertwined with Western art forms including Ballet, Hip Hop, Martial Arts, a modern catwalk and belly dancing, this evening promises an incredible diversity!
This year, for the first time in the show’s history, the production will feature a headline act – British Asian music sensation, Arjun, truly showing how the show has expanded from its humble beginnings in 1992.
The president of the society, Sahil Dawar, says: “East Meets West is all about nurturing hidden talent through inclusiveness. A key ethos of our show is allowing anyone and everyone interested to participate in the show, turning mere students into West End performers.”
The concept is unrivalled, as other university shows tend to take the best of the best, whilst East Meets West allows anyone that signs up to be a part of at least one act. It is over the process of countless rehearsals, spanning several months that students are then taught the art of dancing, singing and drama.
It is refreshing to see a student show where instead of selecting the crème de la crème, the aim is to make every participant feel like the crème de la crème by the end of the show.
The heart of the show is charity and all the efforts surrounding the production are centred on improving the lives of others around the world.
Having consistently raised over £15,000 a year for charity, Imperial College Indian Society has always chosen worthy causes that reflect the global outlook of the show, helping local and international communities alike.
This year, East Meets West is donating its profits to I-India – a charity based in Jaipur that aims to improve the lives of street children; Save the Children – an international children’s charity based in the UK but supports international development projects; and Anthony Nolan Trust – a UK blood cancer charity and bone marrow register.
East Meets West started 22 years ago as a simple idea to demonstrate classical Eastern acts alongside more contemporary Western performances.
From performances in Imperial College’s very own Great Hall in front of 400 people, the show has grown into a mass production over the span of 2 decades.
As Dawar says: “The incredible advances the show has made in the recent past is truly a testament to the hard work of our predecessors and everyone involved in the show.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to raise copious amounts of money for such worthy causes whilst putting a smile on thousands of faces.”
Previous venues have included the Shaftesbury Theatre, Eventim Apollo, indigO2, London Palladium and this year, the show will be held in Novello theatre, home to Mamma Mia.
The show is now accommodating for people in their thousands as a result of the show’s immense popularity that caters not just for students but for a family audience and people of all ages.
The show itself is organised by Imperial College’s Indian Society (ICIS). The Indian Society is the largest society at Imperial with a reach in the thousands.
As the largest ethnic society in the country, ICIS aims to encourage awareness of diverse aspects of Indian culture whilst supporting charitable causes.
East Meets West does not simply aim for excellence in performance. It aims for performances painting a unique blend of culture with commitment, pride with passion and elegance with entertainment.
East Meets West is microcosm of the university culture beginning to appear across UK universities, displaying the diversity of culture and talent hidden away in the crevasses of students across the country.
The 22nd production of East Meets West will be held at the Novello Theatre, London, on 23rd February 2014. For ticket enquiries and further information, visit the East Meets West website or contact 07733686363.