On February 7th and 8th, Bancroft’s School held Taal 2020, a much-anticipated event full of an exciting fusion of acting, Asian dance and music. Now in its 18th year, Taal, which means ‘the beat of life’, is now seen as more than just another school production; the new talents discovered, the enriching of culture and more importantly, the charity aspect of the event make it so much more special.

Responsible for this event overall, including finding sponsorships from local businesses, are the members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim Society and in charge of the choreography for the dances, writing the script for the play and directing the event are 6th formers. Despite being occupied with their A-levels, the 6th formers put in their utmost effort into producing an outstanding performance, enjoyed by students, teachers and Old Bancroftian’s (those who have left the school). This year, thanks to the HSBM Society, Lexus sponsored the event, enabling money to be raised for the charities. The charities chosen by them this year were Dementia UK, Anderson School for autism and Veerayatan UK. Altogether £25,000 were raised, highlighting just how important this event is charitably.

Rehearsals were taken incredibly seriously, and the outcome of the event was exceptional, proving the key role of the student’s at Bancroft’s School, outlining their organisation and showing how much the students involved care about this production. In particular, dancing is a skill that is expressed less regularly than music or acting, leading to Taal holding even more significance for the majority of students. The experience of being on stage in front of hundreds of people enabled the improvement of confidence and likewise, the opportunity of teaching younger students allowed the 6th formers to grow as leaders and gain the necessary skill of leadership. The production was based off the story of Aladdin leading to everyone understanding and enjoying the play. One 6th former who was involved in the production, Sanjana Pamneja, mentioned how those who wanted to perform ‘didn’t need to worry about not being good enough as, for the dancing, there was no need to audition, meaning people were automatically part of the production.’ This enhanced the ability to try something new leading to it being, as Sanjana also said, ‘a chance for everybody to show off their creativity and talent.’ Another great aspect of Taal is the sense of community achieved. Danya Lakshman, another dancer within the production said, ‘It is a great time of the year where students across different years can mix.’ Moreover, despite the focus being on Asian dancing and music, students from different cultures always participate, illustrating the school’s diversity and emphasising how many people take part. The atmosphere amongst the audience was also superb with it being most evident that they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. John Raw, a biology teacher at Bancroft’s who watched Taal stated, ‘It was overall fantastic and an incredibly professional production. The variety of dances allowed it to be entertaining throughout and I am definitely looking forward to next year.’ Thus, it is clear, students, teachers and the audience are waiting impatiently until Taal 2021 where talent, creativity, culture can be bound together with charity in a production of pure entertainment.