As part of its yearlong celebration of Asian art, the Detroit Institute of Arts hosted its inaugural “Celebrate India” festival from April 5-7. Over 5,000 patrons to the DIA enjoyed live musical entertainment — classical and Bollywood — as well as instrumental melodies. Classical and folk dances from various states of India also graced the stages.
Event chairs and members of the Friends of Asian Arts & Cultures chairs Anita Rajpal and Hema Rachmale, along with auxiliary group members Meenu Gulati, Rupali Lunani and Raina Patel worked with a group of planning committee members and volunteers to transform the DIA’s magnificent spaces, allowing the metro Detroit community to enjoy the culture of India.
“I was entranced by the performances. I have never seen anything like it but hope to again,” said visitor Ellen Kowak of Royal Oak, who attended with her family.
Alongside live performances, the DIA’s Rivera Court hosted yoga workshops and arts and crafts for children. Indian fabrics, spices and other artifacts from the DIA’s collection were on display. Additional presentations included poetry readings, a lecture on Maratha temples and two showings of classical Indian films.
“We felt like we are back in India,” said Indrayani and Rajiv Bagalkoti of Troy.
DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons welcomed guest of honor and keynote speaker His Excellency Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India to the United States of America, who delivered remarks on “India: Land of a Billion Dreams”.