Disney World Resort in Florida came alive with the sounds of Indian music and vibrant, colorful costumes this past weekend as more than 400 dancers came out to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights for the first time.
Hosted by Jashn Productions, the Dance Fest was held from Oct 26-28 at Disney Springs and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida.
Over 1,000 guests experienced the sights and sounds of Diwali as the Theater in the Wild was filled with vibrant colors, stunning costumes, and incredible performances by dancers from around North America.
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The entire experience was “exhilarating” for Jashn Productions founder Jeanie Beri. “Bringing Diwali to Walt Disney World Resort for the first time ever was so exhilarating,” she said. “We created history by sharing the joy and excitement of this important festival with the South Asian dance community. Celebrating the magic of Diwali in ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’ was truly a dream come true.”
Beri expressed her enthusiasm for organizing future events to celebrate the diverse culture of South Asia, following the success of the Diwali Dance Fest.
The festival kicked off with an official parade at Disney Springs, where dancers performed a 20-minute choreographed piece while parading the streets.
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The Dance Fest Showcase, held at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, included 17 dance schools and performances from various parts of India including Punjab, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh weaving elements of pop and hip-hop.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse opened the event alongside children with special needs who were sponsored by the SKN Foundation and the n-lorem Foundation.
Jashn Productions donated $10,000 to the N-Lorem Foundation whose mission is to discover, develop, and provide personalized experimental ASO medicines for free to patients with nano-rare conditions.
Multi-talented singer and performer Raghav closed out the Dance Showcase with his hit songs, “Angel Eyes” and “Desperado.”
The event concluded with an afterparty at the iconic Hambre Theatre at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where children, parents, and team members celebrated months of hard work and this milestone in their performing arts journey.
The evening was hosted by television personality Nisha Mathur and actress Sway Bhatia.
The Diwali Dance Fest was a unique celebration, allowing children the chance to display their talents on a globally recognized platform, according to the press release.
California-based ICC Bollywood directors Amit and Hiren said, “The Showcase was not just a celebration of a cultural tradition but a representation of unity and the power of art to bridge gaps and bring people together.”
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