The Dance Around the World Celebrates Diverse Traditions
Lexington residents can slip on their dancing shoes at a community dance with a family-friendly and fun atmosphere. Organizers and Lexington residents Melanie Lin and Geetha Padaki invite the town to the Dance Around the World on March 16 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Lexington High School. This community dance is an
exploration of the many cultures represented in our community. It is part of LexCelebrate! Incorporation Weekend, the keystone event in Lexington’s nine-month 300th anniversary celebration. Thanks to generous support
from Capstone Mortgage, the event will be free of charge.
“The evening will start off with classical and folk dance performances,” says Linn. “When you come, you’ll be able to try out dance styles from the Chinese, Israeli, Greek, Scottish, Indian, and Latin traditions. Dance troupes based in and around Lexington are sharing their time and talents with us.”
Padaki and Lin have assembled an impressive range of dance and music styles from the community. “Latinas of Lexington,” residents representing Latin America and the Caribbean, will share the salsa, merengue, cumbia, and bachata. The folk dances of Northern Greece will be taught by Arlington’s Sons and Daughters of Alexander. This well-known group will perform four dances, then will instruct the crowd in Greek line-dance. Lexington’s Bharathakalai School of Dance, led since 1995 by Jayshree Bala Rajamani, will introduce the crowd to the ancient and intricate Indian dance form of Bharathanatyam, used at Hindu temples in Southern India to elevate both performer and viewer to transcendence.
Rikudei Emunah (Dances of Faith) will trace the development of Israeli folkdance sincethe nineteenth century from circles to line dance. The dances are accompanied by songs grounded in sacred texts such as “The Song of Solomon” and the Psalms. The premier Chinese dance group in Boston, Dance Revelasian, will be on hand to introduce YangGe, a distinct style of Han ethnic dance that integrates fans, ribbons, drums, and handkerchiefs into dance. Participants will have the
opportunity to try a dance that employs one of these props, the handkerchief. The Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will perform and instruct the “strathspey," a slow dance and music form unique to Scotland.
Padaki notes that there is a second component to the evening: “We wanted to make sure that we included something for everyone. So, after trying dances from these folk and classical traditions, you can enjoy a very contemporary, high energy, DJ-led dance party. We have asked Lexington High School students to lead popular dances from today’s world pop movements. They have even collaborated on a unique fusion dance that highlights how we all share in the joy of dance and music. We’re really excited about this special, student-led part of the evening!”
Lin and Padaki are also providing for food and diversion from the energetic dances. There will be cultural booths mounted by members of our diverse community, as well as delicious ethnic food supplied by local vendors.
To learn more about the Dance Around the World, see the 300thAnniversary Celebration website: http://www.lexington300.org. The organizers can be reached at: Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org and Geetha.email@example.com.