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International Dance Festival raises funds for children’s causes

April 2011
International Dance Festival raises funds for children’s causes

On March 05, 2011, approximately 800 Atlanta area residents braved cold weather to go the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University for Vibe 2011. This was perhaps Atlanta’s first International Dance Festival, involving over a hundred artists, and representing cultures from the Far East of the globe to the Southeast of the United States. From drums of Africa to ghungroos of Indian Classical dance, the theatre resonated with music and rhythms from all over the world.

The evening began with a Middle Eastern dance by the perfectly sculpted dancers of Nazeem Allayl Dancers. Virgina Coker and Robert Frank of Atlanta Dance Classes gave a ballroom performance, followed by the Okinawa Kenjin-kai that entertained with steps synchronized to their drum beats, and the Dangerous Curves Pro team from PasoFino Dance Studio thrilled the audience with burlesque dance. Planet U Performing Art’s Director Uma Murlidhar and her troupe danced to a fusion of modern Bollywood and Indian folk dances with high energy and colorful costumes. The first half of the show concluded with a Flamenco performance by Rina Menosky and Jose De Guadalupe with guitarist Jean Pierre.

After intermission, Kathak dancers of Aparna’s Dance Academy showcased their graceful Indian classical steps, heavy footwork and chakkars (spins). The Uhuru Dancer’s enthralled with live African drum beats and highly energetic songs. CityDance ballet transformed the mood with soothing and peaceful moments, whereas Gotta Dance Atlanta’s Hip Hop dance team brought an urban flavor that resonated with many audience members. The Atlanta Chinese Dance Company’s performance of “The Song of the Yellow River Boatmen” was very lively with beautiful choreography. Then PasoFino Dance Company presented Salsa with picture perfect poses, fast moves and mind-blowing lifts. The final performance of the evening was choreographed by Shiva Turlapati of Shiv’s Institute of Dance especially for this event to depict the “Spirit of Vibha” and the mission it supports. As the audience watched mesmerized during this part of the show, some were moved to tears while others were just happy to be a part of this dream!

Throughout the evening, the Master of Ceremonies, John Hobbs, a standup comedian from Newnan, Georgia, kept the audience entertained as the dance routines transitioned from one to the next and ensured that the audience never had a dull moment.

The evening concluded with a special thanks to all, from performers and volunteers to the audience. Subash Razdan, Founding Chairman of the Gandhi Foundation of USA and President and Co-founder of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia was the guest of honor for the evening. He commended Vibha for its efforts and said that Vibe 2011 was one of the finest examples of volunteerism he had recently seen.

Vishali Karnik and Vindali Vartak, event leads of Vibe 2011 “are very proud to be part of the extremely passionate team of Vibha Atlanta volunteers.” They add that “Just as happiness and joy that music and dance bring is contagious, we hope volunteerism and giving is, too.”

In addition to the generous support and dedication of all performers, Vibe 2011 wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors. We thank our supporting sponsors (eConsultants, the Ping Mortgage Company, Conarc Inc, Lynn Adams Associate Broker); media partners (Khabar, ByteGraph Creations), Vibha annual sponsors (Paramount Software Solutions, Pyramid Consulting, Primus Software Corp, Futuretech Consultants, Sanket Systems, EIS and Rapid IT) and food sponsors (Sai Murali, Bhojanic, Vatica).

Funds raised are going to Project Alamb (education and vocational training for slum girls, New Delhi) and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Vibha is a nonprofit that has impacted the lives of almost 200,000 children through more than 190 projects in India and the US. India, by one count, has 18 million street children and over 22 million child laborers. Nearly 20% of the children 6-14 years old have no access to primary education. Half do not get enough food. Vibha aims to ensure that every underprivileged child attains his or her right to education, health and opportunity.

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