Produce it Yourself: Music and Dance Festivals
Part of the Brainstorm! series of lively discussions on the artist as producer.
Produced by the Asian American Arts Alliance in collaboration with the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Hosted at Greenwich House Music School
April 14, 2011
Case Study: Erasing Borders: Festival of Indian Dance, represented by Prachi Dalal, Dance Festival Director.
Discussants: Julia Camagong, Co-Executive Director of Philippine Forum; Aaron Friedman, Founder and President, Make Music New York; Jonathan Hollander, Founder, Downtown Dance Festival.
Moderator: Menon Dwarka, Executive Director, Greenwich House Music School
Prachi Dalal, Dance Director
Prachi Delal uniquely blends being a dancer and an artist with experience in organizing events and educational programs. Her work exemplifies a commitment to multi-cultural understanding, sustainable development, and heritage management through museums, education and travel. Delal’s deep love for Indian dance is supported by a vision to develop new audiences, cultivate appreciation and encourage research and academic discussions. She has performed Indian dance in India and the United States and has conducted dance workshops in schools and museums. She was also honored to perform at the first Diwali celebration (the Indian Festival of Lights) at the White House in Washington D.C. Born in Bombay, Prachi holds a Masters degree in Tourism Administration with a focus on Cultural-Heritage Tourism from George Washington University. She has also completed Intermediate Chartered Accountancy
and pursued a graduate program in Ancient Indian Culture.
Julia V. Camagong, Co-Executive Director, Philippine Forum
Julia V. Camagong is the Co-Executive Director of Philippine Forum, a non-profit community organization based in New York City, which cultivates awareness among Filipinos of their roots, rights and responsibilities. She is also Vice President of Programs for the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, a US-wide alliance of community organizations and institutions working for the rights and welfare of Filipinos. In the Philippines, Camagong performed in street plays during the anti-Marcos rallies in the Philippines, as part of the theater group Peryante (Carnival Players). In San Francisco, Julia was Co-Founder and Executive Director of the theater group Teatro ng Tanan (Theater for Everyone). She has acted in plays, film and television both in San Francisco and New York.
Aaron Friedman, Founder and President, Make Music New York (MMNY)
Aaron Friedman founded a nonprofit organization that produces a citywide outdoor musical celebration in New York. MMNY’s free concerts take place at hundreds of plazas, streets, sidewalks, and parks in the five boroughs. Having experienced the 2006 Fête de la Musique in Paris, Friedman was inspired to create a comparable event in New York. In the course of a year, with a budget of less than $20,000, he brought together a group of volunteers and organized the first MMNY, with over 560 free performances. Last year, the event grew to over 1,000 concerts, making it the most expansive musical event in NYC history.
Jonathan Hollander, Artistic and Executive Director, Founder and Choreographer, Battery Dance Company
Jonathan Hollander is one of the outstanding choreographers of his generation and has taken a leadership role in international cultural exchange and social activism. In 1976, he founded Battery Dance Company in New York City and has choreographed over 75 works that have been presented in major theaters and festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean. In addition to his work with Battery Dance Company, he has served as guest choreographer for companies and dancers from diverse countries such as India, France, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Hollander is a member of the Fulbright Association and Lower Manhattan Arts Leaders. He is also Co-Founder and Board Member of the Indo-American Arts Council.
Menon Dwarka, Executive Director, Greenwich House Music School
Menon Dwarka is a writer, composer and director of the Greenwich House Music School. He was the former music program director of the 92nd Street Y and Harlem School of the Arts. He has also served as staff composer at several New York City firms, creating music and sound design for television advertising. In addition, he is also a regular contributor to Listen Magazine.For Dwarka, a Canadian of South Asian heritage who was born in Georgetown, Guyana, music is a unique way to explore the various aspects of being between cultures. This exploration is similar to the way many post-colonial writers approach their subject matter. His involvement with the commercial music industry has led Dwarka to integrate a greater use of computer-assisted composition into his most recent work.