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Dancing up a Storm—Dhol Baje’18

Dandiya and Garba are an inseparable part of the celebration of Navaratri in India. Keeping the tradition alive, the Rotaract Club of Manipal organised a Dandiya Night on 31st October 2018. Manipal took to the event with gusto as people flocked to KMC Greens to attend the event decked up in vibrant traditional attires. Dr Geetha Maiyya, the Director of Students Affairs at MAHE, was the chief guest for the evening. Along with Rotarian Amit Arvind, President of the Rotary Club of Udupi-Manipal, and Col Prakash Chandra, Director of General Services at MAHE, she lit the ceremonial lamp to mark the formal inauguration of Dhol Baje.

Although traditional Garba music was expected to be the highlight of the evening, western music and Bollywood hits echoed through the grounds for most of the night. “The dandiya performed here is quite different from that which is traditionally performed with Gujarati music. It is fun to see and enjoy one of our traditional dance forms with people who come from different cultures. My friends and I had been planning everything from dresses to jewellery for the past two hours. We have also been practising some moves,” said Sanchal Nachappa, a student of MIT, sharing her enthusiasm for the festival.

The event also featured fashion shows by Burning Ice and Glam N Glitz and a dance performance by Showstoppers. The fashion shows treated the spectators to an eclectic mix of Indian and Western cultural styles. Models pulled off lungis with crop tops and sarees with jeans with elegance and panache. “Practices were hectic, initially it was hard to cope with them. Although our seniors made it a fun, interactive and highly productive process. I believe in the past week I not only found new friends but a family too. Overall it was an exciting and overwhelming experience, and I can’t wait for our next walk,” said Kevin Parakh, a model at Burning Ice. Showstoppers pulled off a great performance with a mashup of both classical and hip-hop dance styles. These performances received a huge round of applause from an enthusiastic audience. “We love dancing, and that’s what we showed off today. We are glad our hard work was shown off well,” said, Carol Johnson, a member of the Showstoppers crew.

Food stalls and refreshments were available at the venue. A photo booth with a dholki, arranged by the Rotaract Club, was a star attraction for the shutterbugs. The event also served as a fundraiser for the various charitable activities conducted by the Rotaract Club. With extended perm time for the first years from almost all colleges, students left the premises at 10.45 p.m. with tired feet and precious memories of an enjoyable evening.

Image Credits: The Photography Club, Manipal