Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2012, 9:20 am

Diwali performers danced with the globe

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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
Performers at a Diwali Festival sponsored by the Friends of India Association of the Quad-Cities on Saturday, Nov. 17, delivered a variety of dances during the celebration, including this traditional routine
MOLINE -- India danced with the globe last Saturday at Moline High School.

A Diwali festival hosted by the Friends of India Association of the Quad-Cities on Nov. 17 drew about 850 people, compared to about 200 audience members last year, according to association president Yogi Naik.

About 200 people performed, including children as young as 2. A centerpiece performance was a 17-minute routine featuring dances from around the world, but done to traditional India-style music, Mr. Naik said.

The routine included Brazilian dance, as well as belly dancing and disco, he said.

It was a high-intensity performance many people said they really enjoyed, Mr. Naik said.

People also posted compliments on Facebook saying this year's Diwali was the best yet, especially in terms of the quality and taste of food served and the way the show was organized, he said.

Diwali is the biggest festival in India, Mr. Naik said. Also called Deepavali, it's popularly referred to as a ''festival of lights.''

It is an official five-day holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

''The bottom line of it is that it's a celebration of the victory over good vs. evil,'' he said. ''It's an important part of India tradition and the arts.''

This' year's theme was ''India meets the Globe,'' Mr. Daik said.

''The world has become such a small place right now, that our emcees wanted to portray that,'' he said. The 17-minute dance routine helped illustrate that point, he said.

Videos of practice sessions and the event also were made to be shared on YouTube, he said.

'"We're already looking forward to next year's festival,'' Mr. Daik said. He expects the festival will continue to grow because of increased marketing efforts, performer's energy levels and community visibility through supporting local nonprofit agencies.