Binghamton University’s Indian International Student Union (IISU) is taking this year’s Tamasha to a whole new level, crossing cultural celebrations with pop culture. The production attains a range of interests and genres, intertwining Bollywood, classical and folk dances with the esteemed Netflix television series “Stranger Things.”

The production showcases South Asian culture through traditional dances, songs and interactive performances.

Surya Baskaran, an intern for IISU and a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, told us what he views as integral practices of Indian culture.

“Tamasha is basically a celebration of Indian culture, and I think the dances are the biggest part of it,” Baskaran said. “I think that’s uniquely Indian in a way because if you look at Bollywood movies, or movies from any region of India really, they all usually include a musical number, while Hollywood hits don’t really have that. So I think that’s a really distinct part of Indian culture.”

The dances that will be performed at the Tamasha are not only culturally representative through origin and execution, but via the attire that’s worn as well.

Laya Mathai, vice president of IISU and a senior majoring in biology, offers why she’s most looking forward to the dances and the accompanying costumes.

“All of our dancers are fully decked out in costume so not only will you see our dances, but you’ll see the cultural costumes that come along with it,” Mathai said. “We have outside suppliers, but we even got some of the costumes from India this year.”

The time and devotion to this production have stretched beyond a singular semester, calling for supplemental planning and development during the winter and summer months.

When asked about their commitment to the annual Tamasha, Mathai gave a brief synopsis of IISU’s preparation timeline.

“E-Board started preparation in June, and our dancers started preparing in September,” Mathai said. “Dances are learned all throughout the fall semester so that we’re ready to go by the start of the spring semester. We practice a lot. You’ll always see us around in Fine Arts at nighttime.”

In addition to logistical and performance planning, much of their practices has also been dedicated toward the interwoven skit of Stranger Things season four.

Baskaran comments on how the “Stranger Things” theme will be a recurrent act throughout the production.

“Every year we have a theme with a skit that goes along, and in between the performances we’ll play the skit to kind of have a running throughway through the performances,” Baskaran said. “I’m in two dances, the Bollywood and the South Indian dance, and I’m also in the skit as Steve.”

IISU’s means of embodying Indian culture aside from iconic television characters, like Steve Harrington, is likely a reason that this year’s Tamasha is set to be their biggest one yet. Not only has the show repeatedly sold out in previous years, but this year they are switching theaters in order to accommodate such a growing student-body interest.

“We used to host [the Tamasha] in Chamber Hall, but that only held around 400 to 500 people,” Baskaran said. “Now we’re moving to Osterhout and that holds upward to like 900 maybe even 1,000 people.”

Culture will be showcased by virtue of traditional dances, outside performances by Binghamton Bhangra, Masti, Quimbamba and Black Dance Repertoire, as well as the overarching “Stranger Things” theme.

Will IISU defeat Vecna and close all four gates to the upside down? All will be answered in Osterhout Concert Theater this Saturday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m.