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Bollywood! Building Bridges

Hamilton (OH) – Spectacle may be an understatement.

The April 20 season finale for the Fitton Center for Creative Arts’ Showstoppers Series - Bollywood! – presents an electrifying evening of color, sound, dance and culture from India.

“This is one of the most ambitious shows we’ve ever undertaken, with nearly 100 performers on our stage through the course of the night,” said Ian Mackenzie-Thurley, Executive Director at the Fitton Center. “Yet as big as it is, it’s truly a community event and a family event.

“Lalita Satyal connected us with no less than half a dozen different organizations in the area who agreed to showcase different styles of Indian music, dance, dress and culture. Smita Srivastava coordinated all these groups to create an entertaining evening for our audience.”

And star power.

Los Angeles-based Rajiv Satyal – the only comic to entertain on all seven continents – serves as emcee for the evening.

“It will be wonderful to have Rajiv back at the Fitton Center,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “When I say this is a family event, I mean that twice. Rajiv works clean and is hysterically funny for all ages. And he’s coming home to help his mom make this show a hit.”

Rajiv will open the show with some of his standup before introducing the groups and explaining some of the different elements of their performances.

Performers include the Kathanauki School of Dance, Prerna Dance Group, Teja Patel, M-Squad, Saree Show, Aaja Nacach Le and the Dancing Enjaamis.

They offer styles ranging from the classical Sufi dance of northern India to Bollywood fusion, from western Indian to Kollywood-style dance from southern India, from a parade of traditional Indian fashion to contemporary Kathak and vibrant Bhangra dancing.

“These dances have roots thousands of years deep,” MacKenzie-Thurley said. “Some of them will be in that classic, ancient style, but many of them have been modernized and merged with more familiar western styles. But all of it celebrates the amazing culture of India.

“About five percent of Butler County residents are of Asian descent; a significant portion of those are Indian. This is an important show for us to share a culture that many of our neighbors don’t know. But it’s just as important for the Indian community to see themselves represented on stages where maybe they haven’t been seen before.

“We want to build bridges, to start conversations, to connect people and invite them to see and appreciate the people who maybe they didn’t know much about. The arts are a wonderful way to open those doors.”

Tickets are $35 for Fitton Center members, $43 for non-members. They are available online right here, by phone at 513-863-8873, ext. 110 or in person at the Fitton Center box office.

Pahhni Premium Alkaline Water serves as hydration sponsor for the event, furnishing bottled water for all the performers. Their water also is available for purchase at the cash bar the night of the show.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.


Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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