Dancing for donations

Schoolcraft welcomes Bollywood dances and fashion

By Ken Narita, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, the Schoolcraft College Asian Student Association will host the first Bollywood Dance Competition and Fashion Show. The event will take place in the DiPonio Room of the VisTaTech Center from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets can be bought either at the door for $12 or in advance for $10. Advance tickets can be found at the Students Activities Office in the lower Waterman of the VisTaTech Center. All the proceeds from this event will go toward the Schoolcraft Student Food Pantry.

Performances for the Dance Competition will be divided into four sections: middle school, high school, college and community. There will be prizes awarded to winners of each section. Entry to compete in the competition is open to the public. The deadline to enter the competition is April 30.

The SCASA’s mission is: “To create awareness of the South Asian culture and its growing influence.” The group further explains the purpose of the Bollywood Dance Competition and Fashion Show by saying, “we wish to showcase the rich Indian traditions and festivals for the students and surrounding communities.”

“Bollywood is the nickname given to the Indian film industry. It is a play on the word Hollywood. The B comes from Bombay – also known as Mumbai, a big city in India.” Said Anna Maheshwari, English professor at Schoolcraft College. “It has influenced daily life and culture in India for decades now. In fact, movies are the main source of entertainment and almost a religion in India.”

Hindi cinema is known for its bright colors and magnificent dances. Luci Townsend said in the BBC News Magazine, “Bollywood dance is easy on the eye. Dramatic facial expressions and cinematic pizzazz means any viewer, dance aficionado or not, can follow the story.” Hand gestures act as a form of sign language for Bollywood dances. These hand movements are known as hastas, or mudras, and help performers convey stories with their dance.

“Bollywood has for long exerted a deep influence on popular Indian fashion. Any outfit adorned by an actor or actress in a hit movie immediately becomes a prime sartorial trend for tailors to reproduce,” said Maheshwari. “The ready-made industry manufactures these clothes in bulk and the designs are named after the character or movie. The fashion industry capitalizes on this trend by launching their clothes and jewelry in movies. Top stars are made brand ambassadors to endorse fashion products.”

The Bollywood Dance Competition and Fashion Show will educate on the brilliance of Indian dance culture. Indian traditions and festivals will be showcased in this lively event. Students and people from the community will exhibit their talent in Bollywood dancing.

“We have multiple goals – to bring students from other schools, colleges and universities to Schoolcraft – both to compete and participate, to showcase various Indian dance forms, to have fun, and at the same time raise funds for the Schoolcraft Food Pantry,” said Maheshwari.

The Schoolcraft Student Food Pantry was created to assist students and families struggling financially. The mission of the Food Pantry is: “to provide non-perishable food items and hygiene products to students and families in need.” The food pantry is available to Schoolcraft students and their families.

All questions on the event or interest in competing should be directed toward Anna Maheshwari by email at amaheshw@schoolcraft.edu or phone at 734-462-7188.

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