Flushing Town Hall’s online Diwali with high profile participants and performers

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Poster advertizing the Flushing Town Hall virtual Diwali scheduled for Nov. 7, 2020. Photo: courtesy Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall (FTH), an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution with the goal of bringing multi-disciplinary global arts to the multicultural Queens and New York City, is presenting the 6th Annual Diwali Festival … virtually.

The online celebration of the Festival of Lights is reimagined as a FREE virtual event and takes place Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.

A press release from organizers gives details of the program which features some stellar Indian-American performers and personalities, and can be watched on Zoom starting at 7:00 at  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83474221283 . For more information visit www.flushingtownhall.org

The virtual celebration mixes live and pre-recorded content and opens with footage of a home traditionally decorated for Diwali and an explanation of the holiday and traditional foods.

Then Nupur Arora, owner of Queens Curry Kitchen. will demonstrate mouth-watering authentic Indian dishes with ingredients that can be found at the local grocer.

“Then move the furniture and get ready to move as master Indian dancer Abha B. Roy and the Srijan Dance Center shows you traditional, folk and Bollywood dance moves,” says the press release.

This is followed by a three-minute, Rutgers Tamasha performance – a choreographed piece entitled “Riot Maari,” blending a variety of dance forms starting with hip-hop, transitioning to their roots of traditional Bollywood dance, and then ending with classical South Indian dance moves.

The piece has been choreographed by Bhaavi Patel and Aarushi Bhardwaj.

Enter DJ Rekha who will keep the audience moving spinning the music for a 30-minute Bhangra dance party.

Organizers urge the audience to support these artists and Flushing Town Hall by making a donation- and receive some “fantastic gifts”.

Donate:

  • $20 – $34 and receive the digital download of Nupur Arora’s The Vegan Indian Home.
  • $35 and receive a hard copy of Nupur Arora’s The Vegan Indian Home.
  • $250 to $999 and receive a one-hour, family-friendly Indian dance class with Abha Roy on Zoom.
  • $1,000 or more and DJ Rekha will provide a 30-minute virtual dance party at your next event.

More about the artists:

  • Abha Roy is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist.  She is a master Kathak dancer, a classic northern Indian dance form and also holds a master’s degree in geography. A dance Teaching Artist at Flushing Town Hall, she started her career as a classical dancer in 1984, completing her diploma in Kathak under the guidance of late great Guru Kundan Lal Gangani. She served with the  Indian Council of Cultural Relations and went around the world. Roy has conducted workshops and classes for New York City schools, universities, libraries and museums since 1992. She is the founding director of Srijan Dance Center.
  • DJ Rekha is a London-born, Flushing-raised musician, DJ, producer, curator and activist, credited with pioneering Bhangra music in North America. DJ Rekha’s Basement Bhangra, NYCs longest continuous monthly nightclub, ran from 1997-2017. She has performed at the Obama White House and internationally.
  • Nupur Arora, owner of Queens Curry Kitchen, started the restaurant as a way to reignite her creativity, stepping away from a fashion career and stepping into authentic Indian homestyle food as a hobby. It soon became hugely popular among Indian international students in NYC who missed the taste of their mom’s food back home, the press release says. When her own daughter left for college, she decided it was time to create a line of spices that would help her to recreate familiar flavors in the dorm and EZ Curry was born. Apart from that, Chef Arora conducts online cooking classes, including on vegan meals, and writes books.
  • Rutgers Tamasha is Rutgers University’s premier co-educational and non-competitive Bollywood fusion dance team. It performs across the nation as members are exposed to South Asian culture through a variety of forms of dance such as Bhangra, Bharatnatyam, Latin, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Bollywood fusion.

“We are very pleased to move our annual Diwali event online while we follow health and safety guidelines for indoor venues. Although we’ll miss audiences in our theater, we plan to create the same excitement for audiences at home as they learn to create delicious Indian foods, explore Diwali’s customs, and discover Indian traditional, folk, and Bollywood dance moves, and have their own dance party at home!” Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall Ellen Kodadek, is quoted saying in the press release.

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