Saarang publicity this year decided to go a little more ‘public’ than usual. On Wednesday over 100 students from IIT Madras spontaneously burst into dance in the quadrangle of Ampa Skywalk, much to the delight and surprise of onlookers. The ‘Flash Mob’ as it is called, was part of the hoist to Saarang 2012, the annual cultural extravaganza of IIT Madras (scroll down for the video).
The dancing and festivities at the mall were a promotional exercise for the professional shows at Saarang. It was coordinated by the choreo team, choreographed by them as well.
Following a few mass emails calling for practice at SAC, they started 5 days before the event, which, surprisingly, was enough time for 100 people to put up a fairly well executed performance. People joined the flash mob for various reasons- some said that participating in a flash mob was on the “bucket list” of things they wanted to do atleast once in their lifetime, others joined for the sake of doing something new and exciting, and some others because they said were dedicated to Saarang (although we suspect that most people turned up because of a particular line in the mail stating that “refreshments will be served”)
After 5 days, on 11th January, Wednesday, three completely packed institute buses set off for Ampa skywalk at around 6:00 pm. Due to traffic along the way, they managed to reach there by about 7:45 pm, which was of some concern, since the peak hours in the mall are generally between 5-7 pm. At this time, the PR team was running around the mall with the managers trying to set up all the necessary arrangements in order to conduct the flash mob. Cameras were set up in place, which made it quite obvious that something was about to happen at the mall. (One of the by-standers was heard to remark something about a bomb as well!).
By this time, a huge crowd had gathered around and were pointing and commenting at the cameras. Regardless, the PR team finished the necessary arrangements and a signal was given to begin. The choreo team members were the first to take a step. Three dancers started to a song by Devi Sri Prasad, and were joined by the rest of the choreo team, amidst cheering and clapping from the crowd. About a minute later, the remaining crowd from the institute jumped in and began dancing with them. They danced, with much cheering from the audience, to hit numbers like ‘Chammak Challo’, ‘Maa Ka Laadla’, ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’, ‘Dhinka Chika’, ‘Ringa Ringa’ and others by artistes Vishal-Shekhar and Devi Sri Prasad. After a well coordinated performance of about 7 minutes, everyone dispersed and the PR team took the stage. They began announcing about the professional shows and standees were put up regarding the same for publicity.
The effort was mainly directed at boosting ticket sales for the professional shows. Although, the team did not manage to sell as many tickets at the mall itself, the flash mob did cause a lot of publicity for Saarang and the institute in general. It certainly did demonstrate the lengths to which students would go in order to showcase Saarang, reflecting the true spirit of the festival.
Watch on YouTube