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North Atlantic Garba, Raas & Folk Dance Competition

Anoop Kumar

Over a thousand people from all parts of the North East attended the dance show that featured over 300 performers. The North Atlantic regional run off competition was held on 13th August at Marlborough, MA.   The event was hosted by the Patidar Samaj of New England.

Youngsters and adults from MA, RI, NH, NY and NJ competed in 3 categories: Gujarati Raas, Garba and Folk dance in 4 divisions: minor, junior, senior and adult.  Of the 24 competing teams following teams have been adjudged winners
India Performing Arts Center - NJ  -choreographer Mickey Patel, 
Nartan - New York - Choreographer Swati Vaishnav
Prerna - New York  -Choreographer Bina Shah
Aangikam - MA/ NH - Choreographer Jasmine Shah
Gujarati Samaj of New York - Choreographer Bharti Desai
Performing Arts of New England - choreographer Darshna Jani

“Many of the participants performing today have been competing since they were minors.  Today, they are performing as seniors, and some as adults. This is quite an achievement for an organization this is outside of Gujarat,” said Jyotsna Patel, chairperson – North Atlantic Region.  Dr. Dinesh Patel was the keynote speaker. He appreciated the participants for their wonderful choreography and the organizers in making such a large scale show possible. “The aim of this competition is to promote the popular folk dances of Gujarat amongst our youths and to popularize these unique popular arts in American Society,” said Mahendra Patel, Program Chairman.

The competition was like a festival, which produced sense of pride and joy among the talented performers and choreographers.  The competition began with youngsters performing harmoniously on stage and ended with vigorous adults energizing the whole auditorium. The performances created an electrifying mood in the audience.  Watching the performers dance to the beat in rich colorful costumes was a treat to audience. 

Winners proceed to the Finals in Newark NJ where got compete with winners from the run of competitions  held in the  Western Region, SE Region, Mid West Region and Southern Region over the Labor Day Weekend.

FOGANA is an acronym for The Federation of Gujarati Associations of North America was founded in 1980.The aim was to bring all the Gujarati people living in North America closer together by promoting a common platform to sustain and perpetuate the cultural heritage of Gujarat, India. FOGANA organizes several activities including dance competitions, debates, conferences, etc. More information can be found on their web-site: http://www.fogana.org/

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