All for one, and one for In­dia

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If any­thing, the show “Unity Through Di­ver­sity” will be a tri­umph of back­stage lo­gis­tics.

The pro­gram of Western and East­ern mu­sic and dance staged by the Pem­broke Pines-based As­so­ci­a­tion of Per­form­ing Arts of In­dia fea­tures a large cast, ac­cord­ing to the chair­man of the board, Deen­bandhu Chok­shi.

“I think the to­tal num­ber of mu­si­cal artists, singers, dancers and oth­ers num­ber [58], or some­thing like that,” he says of the event that will start at 6:30 p.m. Satur­day at the Co­ral Springs Cen­ter for the Arts. “We were wor­ried that the show would be too long. We had to give ev­ery­one a strict time. They asked for more time and we had to put the foot down.”

The per­for­mance will last 21/2 hours with a 15-minute in­ter­mis­sion.

“But we wanted to show the di­ver­sity. There’s a lot of di­ver­sity of the mu­sic, and there’s a lot of di­ver­sity in the dance. And there’s di­ver­sity in the na­tional ori­gin of the people in­volved. Even in the dance, there are a lot of vari­a­tions. And there are a lot of chil­dren and ma­ture adults, so there is di­ver­sity in the age of the par­tic­i­pants.”

The mu­sic will range from Bach to In­dian mu­sic, which Chok­shi ex­plains “is very old. This is mu­sic from 5,000 years ago.”

In ad­di­tion to per­for­mances by the South Florida Youth Sym­phony, the Suzuki Mu­sic Academy and

Unity Through Di­ver­sity

When: 6:30 p.m., Satur­day Where: Co­ral Springs Cen­ter for the Arts, 2855 Co­ral Springs Drive Cost: $15-$39 ($2 off for se­niors and stu­dents with cur­rent ID) Con­tact: 954-344-5990 or pro­fes­sor Clarence Brooks from Florida At­lantic Univer­sity, the show will in­clude pre­sen­ta­tions from In­dian dance teach­ers and their stu­dents.

“We wanted to make sure that all the chore­og­ra­phers were from the lo­cal re­gion,” says Prashant Shah, artis­tic di­rec­tor of the show. “To see all of this on one plat­form in one evening, that is some­thing. That is some­thing I see very rarely. I’m very proud of this whole eve- ning.”

Shah is a se­nior dis­ci­ple of Padma Bhushan Ku­mu­dini Lakhia, who is a leg­end of the Kathak dance world re­sid­ing in Ahmed­abad, In­dia. Based in New York, Shah made long phone calls and fre­quent trips to South Florida over the past six months, putting “Unity Through Di­ver­sity” to­gether be­tween his own per­for­mances as a soloist. He thinks even people who are not fa­mil­iar with clas­si­cal In­dian dance will en­joy the show.

“Some people are just cu­ri­ous about the dance form, or maybe they are dancers. Some people might come and smell the forms rather than know what the form is all about,” he says. “I say smell, be­cause I don’t know how to say it. You just get a [whiff ] of it, like when you go to a city and you go to the mar­ket and smell the cul­ture with food and things.”


Aparna Man­tange is part of a large cast per­form­ing in “Unity Through Di­ver­sity” Satur­day in Co­ral Springs.

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