Indian Heritage Celebration this Saturday

Sisters Zarina and Nadia Roy of New City, who performed during the Rockland County Legislature’s Indian Heritage Month celebration in August, will be among the 100 dancers slated to take part in Saturday’s Indian Heritage Celebration at the Palisades Center

Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul extends an invitation to attend a special Indian Heritage Celebration Saturday that will feature several local dance schools and a highlight performance by 50 women in traditional costume.

“This is an opportunity to experience the culture of India and enjoy beautiful dance performances,” said Legislator Paul, who is also chair of the Legislature’s Special Committee on Minority & Women Business Enterprise. “Visitors can also visit one of the mall’s many shops and enjoy a meal or snack at one of the eateries.”

In association with Rekha Nair of the KalakendraNY School of Dance, Legislator Paul has coordinated the special celebration, which focuses on dances that are traditional to the Indian state of Kerala as well as other regions.

The state was established on Nov. 1, 1956, well after India became an independent nation in 1947. Kerala, a popular tourist destination, is a state in southwest India. It considered is a haven for the lover of dance, drama, music and festivals, and is often referred to as “God’s own country,” Legislator Paul said.

The highlight event will be a dance called Thiruvathira, featuring 50 women in Indian costumes. Rekha Nair is the choreographer, with coordination by Nisha Jofrin, Sheeja Nishad and Lyssy Alex.

Most of the other dances will include at least eight dancers each, with performances by members of the Mayura School of Arts, under direction of Bindiya Sabarinath; Global Mudra Performing Arts, directed by Indhra Rajasekhar; Sattvika Dance Academy, directed by Devika Nair; Jhoom Dance Academy; and Shine Roy & Team. Keyboards by Saint Symphony Piano School.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 7,800 Indian-Americans call Rockland County home. There are about 3 million Indian-Americans in the U.S.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the dances of India,” Legislator Paul, who originally hails from Kerala, said. “One need not be Indian to experience this event and celebrate Rockland County’s rich diversity.”

The free festival event runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, on the first floor near Kay Jewelers at the Palisades Center.

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