A Walt Disney Diwali! Taking the Hindu festival mainstream

Diwali Dance Fest Parade at Disney Springs during October 26-28, 2023. PHOTO:Geo Media Co

More than 400 dancers from across the country celebrated the festival of lights through dance at Disney Springs®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park January 26-28, 2023.

More than 1,000 guests experienced the sights and sounds of Diwali in a Walt Disney wild world setting that resounded with Indian music, thunderous applause and cheers, and showcased colorful costumes.

Dancers performing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park for Diwali Dance Fest. PHOTO: Geo Media Co

The event was hosted by Jashn Productions and is described by organizers as “the first-ever Youth Celebration of Diwali” in a press release.

The Dance Fest directed by Jeanie Beri, founder of Jashn Productions, was a display of vibrant colors, stunning costumes, and impressive performances by dancers from around North America.

Jashn Productions Director Jeanie Beri presented with a Walt Disney Mickey Statue. PHOTO: Geo Media Co

“Bringing Diwali to Walt Disney World® Resort for the first time ever was so exhilarating,” Beri is quoted saying in the press release. “We created history by sharing the joy and excitement of this important festival with the South Asian dance community. Celebrating the magic of Diwali in The Most Magical Place on Earth was truly a dream come true.”

The festival kicked off with an official parade at Disney Springs®, where dancers performed a 20-minute choreographed piece while parading the streets of Disney Springs®. The Dance Fest Showcase, held at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park included 17 dance schools and performances from various regions of India including Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh,  weaving elements of pop and hip-hop. The evening was hosted by Television personality Nisha Mathur and Actress Sway Bhatia.

Walt Disney’s Iconic Mickey Mouse and Minne Mouse at Diwali Dance Fest. PHOTO: Geo Media Co

Walt Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse opened the event alongside children with special needs, a segment  sponsored by the SKN Foundation and the N-Lorem Foundation. Jashn Productions donated $10K to N-Lorem  whose mission is to discover, develop, and provide personalized experimental ASO medicines for free to patients with nano-rare conditions.

Singer and performer Raghav closed out the Dance Showcase with his hit songs, Angel Eyes and Desperado, bringing the audience to its feet.

The event concluded with an afterparty at the iconic Hambre Theatre at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park where children, parents, and team members celebrated months of hard work and this milestone in their performing arts journey.  



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