In a first, Diwali festivities reverberated at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida as hundreds of dancers showcased the culture and heritage of India through performances in celebration of the festival of lights for a global audience at the iconic American destination.
The first-ever Youth Celebration of Diwali was hosted by Jashn Productions with over 400 dancers from across the country celebrating the festival of lights through dance performances at Disney Springs, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a press release issued here said.
The Dance Fest led under the direction of Jeanie Beri, founder of Jashn Productions was a three-day event comprising vibrant colours, costumes and performances by dancers from around North America.
“Bringing Diwali to Walt Disney World Resort for the first time ever was so exhilarating,” Beri said. “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.” Beri said Jashn Productions is looking forward to bringing people together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of South Asia with more events like the Diwali Dance Fest.
The festival, from October 26-28, kicked off with an official parade at Disney Springs, where dancers performed a 20-minute choreographed piece while parading through 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 Diwali Dance Fest was the first of its kind celebration that gave children the opportunity to showcase their talent on a world-renowned platform, the release added. Over 1,000 guests experienced the sights and sounds of Diwali as the iconic Disney park reverberated with sounds of Indian music and colourful costumes.
Walt Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse opened the event alongside specially-abled children. Jashn Productions donated USD 10K to the N-Lorem Foundation whose mission is to develop and provide personalized experimental medicines free of cost to patients with nano-rare conditions.
“The Showcase was not just a celebration of a cultural tradition but a representation of unity and the power of art to bridge gaps and bring people together,” California-based ICC Bollywood directors Amit and Hiren said in the release.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)