The 68th Republic Day of India was celebrated by the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with its annual much expected dance competition – Dance Pe Chance, a colorful dance festival, showcasing the talents and creativity of budding artists from the New York region. More than 450 students representing nearly a dozen popular dance schools from the tristate area participated in the event that was held on January 28 at the Plainfield High School, NJ.
“It was heartening to watch young children, some of them as young as five, showcasing their talents, while the choreographers displayed their creativity in the dance sequences, costumes and techniques,” said Andy Bhatia, President of FIA. Different themes including patriotism, worship of Lord Ganesha, and life at an American school were featured.
Participants from the region, competed for honors in three categories – minor, junior, and senior dance contests, according to organizers of this much-anticipated event. The evening was kicked off with the opening remarks by Srujal Parekh, executive vice president, who introduced Mamta Narula, the master of ceremonies. Chhavi Dharayan, general secretary and chair of the Dance Pe Chance for the third consecutive year, introduced the DPC team.
Among the “Minor” category, the winners are: Best Costume: Fusion Arts; Best Choreography: Aum Dance Creations; Creativity (renamed as technique): Arya Dance Academy; 3rd place: Nirmiti School of Dance; 2nd place: Aum Dance Creations; and 1st place: Arya Dance Academy.
In the Junior category, the winners are: Best Costume: Nirmiti School of Dance; Best Choreography: Dance 4 Ever; Creativity (renamed as technique): Dancing Shiva; 3rd place: Aatma Performing Arts; 2nd place: Arya Dance Academy; and 1st place: Dancing Shiva.
The Senior group winners include: Best Costume: Aatma Performing Arts; Best Choreography: Aum Dance Creations; Creativity (renamed as technique): Arya Dance Academy and Nritya Creations; 3rd place: Aatma Performing Arts; 2nd place: Nritya Creations; 1st place: Arya Dance Academy; and, Best of the Best: Arya Dance Academy.
Anand Patel, FIA’s past president, formally welcomed all the participants. As per tradition, the new officials of FIA took the oath of office during the event. Andy Bhatia (president) Srujal Parikh (executive vice president); Alok Kumar (vice president); Chhavi Dharayan (secretary); Jatin Patel (joint secretary); and Himanshu Bhatia (treasurer) took the oath office before outgoing president Anand Patel and Deputy Consul General Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra.
Ramesh Patel, chair of FIA, felicitated the outgoing and incoming officials and praised the team behind the event. H.R. Shah, recipient of the 2017 Padma Shri award was also felicitated at the event.
Jonathan Hollander, founder of the Battery Dance Company, and Dr. Kavita Gupta, were among the judges for the evening. Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Albert Jasani of Royal Albert’s Palace, Rajeev Bhambri of India Abroad, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Yash Paul Soi and other prominent members of the community presented the trophies to the winners.
In his address Deputy Consul General Mohapatra noted the quality of the performances and saluted each team for their excellence. He announced that TV Asia will be hosting a live program every Tuesday with a consulate official to answer questions about passport or visa related matters. He asked people to utilize it to get correct information.