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Bollywood Crash Course Comes to NEIU

By Cassie Colon
On February 8, 2011

This semester the 16th Annual Asian American Heritage conference is bringing its students a wonderful opportunity to experience and engage themselves in these beautiful dances. The students have a chance to witness an aspect of the wondrous culture of India. The dances are meant to be fun and easy to learn. The theme, Globalization and Identity: Preserving our Heritage, is scheduled for the dates of April 5-6 at Northeastern Illinois University. As part of this conference, the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs is welcoming a well-known Chicago based classical Indian dance guru, Pranita Jain, of Kalapriya Dance Company, and her senior dancers.  These dance lessons are free and the students will be showcased in elaborate beautiful traditional East Indian costumes April 7, in Alumni Hall.  There will be two performances, one during activity hour and the will be held during the evening for friends and family at 7 p.m.

Beautiful images of exotic places, ancient architecture and stone monuments with lustrous adornments of headdresses, jewelry, and brightly patterned clothing flood one's perception when Bollywood, which is a play on words that combines Hollywood and Bombay, now known as Mumbai, comes to mind. As one of the largest entities in the film world, it has catered to a massive fan base.

Many films end in an epic dance scene that is a mix of classical Indian dances such as Bharata Natyam, kathak and bhangra. These dance scenes would incorporate the main, as well as supporting, characters in traditional East Indian dress set around beautiful architecture and landscapes. Some of these dances were performed for devotional purposes to the deities in the Hindu religion and also a symbolism for sensuality. Some forms consist of gestures, such as facial expressions, in order to tell a story and express emotions. The songs in the movie are referred to as "dream sequences."

Students interested in participating have to register and attend rehearsals. There will be a maximum number of 30 dancers.  In order to register, contact Steven Spawn at:

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