Mira Savara Events hosted an all-ages Bollywood party at Pipeline on Friday with a performance by Willow Chang and DJ Sovern-T playing Bollywood and Bhangra dance tunes.
Belly dance’s allure
WILLOW CHANG AND PASSPORT PRODUCTIONS PRESENT “PUJA: GODS AND MONSTERS”
Where: Paliku Theater, Windward Community College
When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $30 ($5 discount for students and seniors)
Call: 292-0820 or 222-6941
ON THE NET
Many people learn another language, study hula or attend bon dances as a way of connecting with their culture — certainly a good and valid reason to do so.
Others, like belly dancer Willow Chang, find something in an “exotic” culture that fascinates them. Chang traces her interest in traditional Arab dance back to her childhood.
“When I was a little kid, I was like a Sufi in training,” recalled Chang. “I loved turning around on the playground and spinning around.
“I’ve really been naturally drawn to it (ever since), and I’ve been fortunate enough to pursue that interest in a more applied fashion.”
And so she has. Chang is far from being Hawaii’s only working belly dancer, but it seems fair to say that she’s the most visible and best known. She performed during “Bollywood Nights” at Pipeline Cafe in April, combined belly dancing and fan dancing at Russell Tanoue’s “Beautiful” party at Pearl last weekend, and is the host and producer of “PUJA: Gods and Monsters” at the Paliku Theatre tomorrow and Sunday.
Chang says that “puja” (she pronounces it “pu-zha”) translates from Sanskrit as “offering.” A celebration of the divine with a collection of stories, movement and dance, the program includes Argentine tango, Balinese dance, hip-hop, classical Indian dance, aerialists, Chinese and Brazilian dance performers and expatriate local boy Simeon Den in addition to traditional belly dancing.
“These dance forms may all seem like (they’re) very, very different, but some of their artistic goals or their intent is very similar,” she said.
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