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October 8, 2008 > As U Like It ushers in the festive season with a night of dance and music

As U Like It ushers in the festive season with a night of dance and music

By Meenu Gupta

October brings a hint of cold weather and festivity. Whether it is the spookiness of Halloween or the dance of dandia, the spirit is one of celebration. As U Like It invites everyone to a night of music, dandia dance, food, entertainment for kids, and dance competitions. "[Last year's] Dandiya was another innovative venture for today's generation. We organized the Dandiya at Club Avalon, Santa Clara. The generation today associates easily with clubs, so it was a fusion of a traditional live band with DJs at a club. Among with so many other Dandiyas happening in the Bay Area, we received a fabulous response of more than 600 people with a good mix of young IT professionals as well as Indians living in the US for a long time," said Meghna David, organizer of the event, IT sales by profession.

The organization started in August 2006 with the motive to spread unity amidst diversity. "We provide a platform to new talent in the Bay Area to present their talent. Whether your dance group is new or you are good at painting, singing, photography, you may contact us," said David.

Dandia, along with Garba, is an age-old celebration of the victory of good over evil in Western India. A nine-day celebration of music and dance, it is an occasion for the community to get together, and celebrate. In Dandia Raas, men and women dance in two circles, with sticks in their hands. "Dandia," or sticks, are generally used in a four beat rhythm as opposite sides hit the sticks at the same time, creating a nice sound. One circle goes clockwise and another counterclockwise. The dynamic dance represents the circle of life and the rhythm of the heart beating.

For those who are good on the dance floor, it is time to show your talent as individuals or in groups. Three prizes will be awarded for solo performances. The best group performance of a minimum of 5-6 people will win the first prize. There are many other gifts in the party, like for Best Dressed Couple, Best Dressed Girl, Best Dressed Guy, and more. Those who are not so confident can join a free rehearsal to shake the shyness. Learn Rass Garba, Dandiya and a few formations and enjoy the traditional beats and live dhol at the Dandiyas.

It is a fun-filled event for the entire family. Enjoy the songs of Bay Area singers Madhavi and Asim Mehta as you enjoy traditional gujarati snacks from the food stalls. With a number of albums like Passion, Rang Mala, and Bhajan Amrut to their credit, Madhvi and Asim have been performing light music in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the United States, and India for over two decades. Their latest album, Sayabo Maro, is a collection of garba, raas and various other folk songs. In addition to their own compositions, this album includes compositions by renowned composer Shri Dilip Dholakia and rhythm maestro Vikram Patil. The whole album is an ecstatic rhythmic and melodious experience which will bring everyone to their feet wanting to dance. "We have come a long way and we owe it to our sponsors and partners G1G insurance, India Community Center, Naach, Music Hut, Bombay Beats," said David.

Free dandia lessons are available at the venue from 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. Visit www.asulikeit.net for more information, tickets, and to register for the dandiya and garba competitions or for the free rehearsal.

Dandia Dhamaal
Saturday, October 11
8 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Centerville Junior High School
37720 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510)334-7683

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