Gearing Up For Gala


Frankly, I have no idea what it’s like for Clarkies who don’t participate in Gala in the spring semester. Hopefully you’re doing something more productive with your lives than stressing over this one event in March that ends up swallowing your semester whole and taking priority over many things in your life you could’ve sworn were more important, but hey, we’re in college. Productivity never comes knocking as often as we’d like.

The rest of us, well, we’re not running around like headless chickens quite yet, although that’s definitely coming up fast—i.e. Hell Week 2k15—but the choreographers and main contacts of each performing country are feeling close to it. As a choreographer for Bangladesh this year, for me, crunch time is now. Selecting the music, finishing up the choreography, corralling the performers, working out formations—obviously this is the most tedious part of gearing up for Gala. Who knew the process of booking practice spaces could be so eventful? Oh no! We still haven’t heard back from SLP about Sundays in Atwood! What if we don’t get a space? What if it’s all already booked? What if we have to practice in the Kneller squash courts?

I know. It’s painful to even think about.

(Chill out, me. The dorms have decent-sized basements that are booked on a first-come first-served basis.)
While the main contacts for each country and their liaisons with ISA work (and occasionally fight) out the logistics of room-booking and finalizing the number of performers, the choreographers are spending way too much time worrying about whether or not this year’s performance will live up to last year’s performance, and do you think our performers can manage this really cool dance lift I discovered on Youtube last night?

Gala Host Auditions are also coming up on February 5th. I may have caught someone practicing their audition speech to an audience of tiny snowmen yesterday. Clearly, everyone’s excited.

Of course, not everyone who participates in Gala performs in it. Some people are more comfortable behind the scenes, working on tech aspects and making the performers look good as they enter and leave the stage, and who often go thankless at the end of it all. Volunteers race around to make sure everything goes smoothly and no performer trips and falls into the pool in the Kneller (this has never actually happened, but I maintain that it’s only a matter of time). ISA members work around the clock to make this night perfect for the entire Clark community. It’s not just the performers who are taking time out of their academic and social calendars to figure out how a count of 1-2-3-4 translates into flailing arms and legs. Gala prep has begun, and everyone even remotely involved is already working hard to make it happen.

Everyone not involved, I hope you’re at least pumped for it. I hear we’re getting a Really Big Stage this year.

-Medha Monjaury


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