The Spirit of Navaratri festival echoes at Dandiya Dhamal

Chicago IL: Vogue Celebrations & Modi Creations Presented Dandiya Dhamal 2012 on Saturday, October 6th 2012 at Renaissance Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Dr. Schaumburg, Illinois. This event was a unique combustion of Garba and Bollywood Celebrities. General audiences can play Dandiya with famous Bollywood Celebrities Tina Dutta (Parineeta & Uttaran Fame). Tina Dutta was on her first U.S. and Chicago trip It attracted more than1,000 attendees.

The whirling dancers, clapping hands, distinct sound of wooden sticks struck together, toe tapping music and people wearing colorful clothes marked the Navratri celebration at the Garba & Dandiya Raas dances held over Chicago. Musical Orchestra a rare combination of Music, Masti and songs that is the specialty of Bollywood Group which provided nostalgic music which made whole audience spellbound. Bollywood Group is headed by Minesh Patel who is a leader and singer himself and encompasses efficient people like Shailesh Bhatiya on Drum, Jayesh Solanki on Pad, Kanchan Solanki on Dholak, Hasoo Khatri on Key Board, Vijay Telang as Male Singer beside Minesh Patel and Jyoti Verma, Shilpa and Manisha as Female Singers. Minesh Patel, one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry today, and his orchestra gave a spellbound music of Garba, Raas, Sanedo, and Wrap which was liked by young and old. This whole group is on two months long tour of USA beginning from today. Suhag Mehta of Shreenath Enterprises happens to be National Promoter.

Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of a Hindu deity Shakti. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra.” The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Navarathri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power]. The Navarathri festival or ‘Nine Nights festival’ becomes ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. Gujarat’s Navratri Festival, is “a circle of ecstasy” that throbs Non-stop for nine nights with millions of fantastically costumed devotees swaying in a fusion of dance and devotion. Although this festival is celebrated throughout India, nowhere is it performed with more panache and fervor than in Gujarat. The festival is enjoyed by all communities, all age groups and in all cities in Gujarat. People all over the world come to Gujarat especially to enjoy this traditional and religious festival. Not only this, but wherever Gujaratis live they celebrate Navaratri. Chicago is no exception.

The word Garbo or Garaba has originated from Sanskrit word “Garbhdeep”- an earthen pot with circular holes is popularly known as Garbo. The earthen pot is symbol of human body and the lighten lamp inside signifies the divine soul. The traditional dance steps are simple, though over the years people have been inventing more complex steps. Similarly, the music was traditionally acoustic, principally composed of drums and singing, but most people now use amplified sound systems or a blend in the form of a live band with modern instruments. A legendary unique Folk Dance form also has variations with Dandia or stick Raas. There are different styles of executing dandiya steps like Dodhiyu, simple five, simple seven, popatiyu, Trikoniya (hand movement which forms an imagery triangle), Lehree, three claps, butterfly, hudo, two claps and many more.

Prominent personalities attended the event were John Lawwson-Candidate for State Representative, Naren Patel- Med Star, Dr. Harjinder Kharla, Suryakant Patel- President, Gujarati Samaj, Dhitu Bhagwaker, Bina Patel, Chirayu Parikh- President,Jalaram Temple and Sunil Shah founder of new FIA etc.

Audiences were eagerly waiting to see Tina Dutta, as soon as she entered people well welcomed her by loud cheering. She entered amongst great enthusiasm of all present at about 9-15 and wished all Happy Navratri and assuming majority of Gujaratis, she spoke, ‘Kem Chho’ and further said, ‘I like Garba but I do not know much, how to play, yet she shared her enthusiasm with few on stage and cherished Raas playing with them. Again she reappeared before closing hours and addressed as how she got a chance to be here and agreed she got tremendous reception and thanked all and in particular Chahk Mehta without whom she could not have been able to make the trip. Many applauded her role in TV serial ‘Utaran’.
The hall was packed with families and with overflowing crowd during the weekend. An interesting aspect was the participation of people of all ages, they joined in circular dance and picked up the steps by watching .The highlight of the dances was the Dandiya Ras, where dancers use brightly decorated wooden sticks to tap in a duet like manner with the other dancers; it can become very energetic and is performed by men and women together as the music is fast and generally includes dhol – a traditional percussion instrument. It indeed was packed with youth who participated in the dances. Many were dancing in groups within the Garba and Dandiya Ras circle.

Vogue Celebrations and Modi Creations did a great job hosting garba and trying to get the younger generation more involved.” Hats off to Bolywood Group Orchestra that continued non-stop for nearly four hours putting on their concerted heart in keeping the entire audience on toes with their spirited and enthrailing Music and Songs by their live team. They played many songs mostly related to Mataji and included Sanedo, Hitch etc.
In between came like lightning visits Tina Dutta, main attraction of today’s event. She delighted all with her charming personality and uttering few wordas in Gujarati. She played Dandiya Ras on the stage.

Parents and grandparents who migrated from Gujarat will be proud to see that this somewhat rural and folk dance is kept alive and now the youth have found it to be cool and exciting to honor the divine energy with each one. Few youngsters told, “We learned garba from ourmom just because we love the music and have fun with friends and family. While many took to the floor dancing until the wee hours of night, some sat on the bleachers either taking a break or just watching the energetic and graceful dancers.

Another unique feature of the event was the prizes for best dressed couple and best male& female dancers. Sunil Shah, Trupti Gala and Mehul worked as Judges. Best dressed couple was selected for prize, they are none but Mehul and Dhruti.

Stalls: Within the hall, were stalls were set up to sell jewelry, clothes and decorative items. Snakes and Food was provided at reasonable rates. There were stall of- John Lawson candidate for State Representative, Bollywood Saree Rentals, Vonage, X Finity, Handicraft Sales, Desi Times, Beijo-Fashion Consultant, India’s Fast Food, Bedazzled & More, Sarikaetc.

Sponsors: Medstar, Air Tours Inc, Waterford, Suga Builders & Construction, Commercial & Residential Jasbir Suga, Lake Street Dental Dr. Harjinder Kharla, Maharaja Authentic Indian Cuisine, Strike X Ten, Desi Chilli, Shree Restaurant, Americana Business Broker, Big Suchir, Gayland Fine Indian Cuisine, Petersen’s Auto Body, Bombay Chopsticks, India House, Rason, New York Life and American Real Estate

Bollywood Celebrities: Tina Datta (Utran Indian Soap), Bollywood Orchestra.

Tina Dutta is a Bengali actress. She has appeared in Bollywood films and TV programmes. She is most well known for her role as Iccha in the television show Uttaran. Tina Dutta (Bengali: born 27 November 1986) is a Bengali actress. She has appeared in Bollywood films and TV programmes. She is most well known for her role as Iccha in the television show Uttaran. Dutta started her career at 5 years of age. She starred in the Bengali film Choker Bali with Aishwarya Rai at age of 12. She was also on hit shows like Comedy Circus, Koi Aane Ko Hai, Aahat. She has also acted in Bengali films as well as television shows.

Dutta stated that she had the ambition to be an air hostess. She played Teenage Lolita in the Bollywood Movie Parineeta (2005) which went to Berlin Film Festival, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, 24th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Helsinki Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Marrakech. The movie was critically praised and was a blockbuster at box office. Dutta rose to stardom after she starred as the protagonist Iccha in the Indian television serial Uttaran on Colors TV. She has been in the show since June 2009

Decoration: Vogue Decorations.

Mmaster of ceremony: Neeti Shahi Gupta and Falguni Joshi

Vote of thanks: Jinesh Modi

Volunteers: Bandna Pal, Henna Khemani, Nishma Patel, Rajeshwari Rawat, Noman Khan, Anand Bhatt.

Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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