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Indian cinema is the vibrant, lively springboard for the eighth annual Bollywood Night West Virginia fundraiser, to benefit Manna Meal and WV Health Right.
The South Charleston-based India Center is again presenting Bollywood Night on Saturday, April 28, at the Charleston Civic Center. The gala will start with a social hour from 5 until 6 p.m. Dinner of multicultural cuisine choices will be served from 6 to 7 p.m. Entertainment, including Bollywood-style dance numbers and singing, will get underway at 7 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m.
“The India Center has really played an active role in all of this,” WV Health Right CEO/Executive Director Angie Settle said. “It’s their way of giving back to the community. It’s a nice event where they can showcase the Indian culture and the food and the dress. It’s pretty neat. There are a lot of colorful outfits — I even wear a sari every year at the event.”
According to the Bollywood Night website, the entertainment lineup for this year’s event includes:
Award-winning entertainer Tiffani Ahdia performing “Deewani Mastani” from the film “Bajirao Masatani” and “El Samer/Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan” from the movie “Roy,” which will feature a belly dance medley.
“Barso Re,” from the film “Guru”, with Keerthana Arjuna (who also choreographed the routine) and Iman Shere
“Chane Ke Khet Mein,” from the movie “Anjaam,” choreographed by Arjuna, a group dance with Arjuna, Shere, Sarah Zanabli, Kat Ellis, Hannah Iskra, Audrey McMillion, Nilaya Kanuri and Jhanvi Sheth
The Bhangra Medley, a children’s group Bhangra, featuring Jay Arjuna, Riya Jones, Samir Jones, Farhan Shaik, Ayaan Shaik, Spandana Mekala, Dharani Thangasamy, Vinu Chandrasekhar, Reva Sangrampurkar, Archit Sangrampurkar and Aneesh Banerjee
Tiffani Ahdia, performing an exhibition Samba, set to the song “I Like to Move It, Move It” in a DJ Pantelis Carnival mix.
A fusion dance: Tu Cheez badi hai masta masta
Performances by the Charleston Ballet.
Bollywood Night will also feature a silent auction to support Manna Meal and WV Health Right.
Bollywood Night tickets are $100 each; $85 is tax deductible, subject to the individual’s personal tax status. Tables of 10 are available for $1,000.
Settle said approximately 750 people attend the annual fundraiser. She added that sponsorship opportunities are still available, as well.
“For the silent auction, some of the stuff comes from India, and there’ll be gift cards from different restaurants,” she said. “We also have pretty good participation every year from local artists.”
“It takes a lot of hard work and phone calls,” Bollywood Night Committee member Madhu Chaturvedi said.
Chaturvedi and Dr. Nilima Bhirud came up with the idea of the Bollywood Night fundraisers in 2010, she said. “It was a concept we had. We’ve always done something for the community; the India Center has always been part of the sponsorship of the program. A lot of the performers are Indian, and we get tremendous support from the Charleston Ballet for this.
“It’s been a joint effort between the community and the India Center; either one wouldn’t be able to do it without the other,” Chaturvedi said. “It’s been an incredible success. We ourselves have been amazed how much the community has supported the cause. It’s been so heartwarming. I’m hoping it’s also helped the local community recognize some of the parts of the Indian community they don’t see that much of, like Bollywood, the glamour and the exotic dancing, and it exposes Indian personality to the community.”
Founded in 1976, the nonprofit Manna Meal provides food for the community at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Quarrier Street East in downtown Charleston. More than one million meals have been served since its opening, with approximately 380 people served two meals daily.
WV Health Right provides medical, dental, pharmaceutical, vision and health education services to uninsured and underinsured individuals, at no charge to patients. According to the organization, WV Health Right serves 25,000 West Virginians from its headquarters on Charleston’s East End.
To order tickets for Bollywood Night, provide sponsorship support or receive more details, visit www.bollywoodwv.org
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