Willoughby resident Ankit Arora was having a blast, beaming as he followed the Bollywood-inspired dance steps of an instructor at the Langley Arts Council gallery at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre, transformed into a dance studio.
“Awesome,” Arora told the Langley Advance Times, saying he was a dance fan, “100 per cent.”
It was Saturday morning, March 11, the “Traditional and Classical Movement with a Bollywood Flair class” at the start of a two-day Celebration of Culture, a free family-friendly event organized by the Langley Arts Council, described as a “celebratory event that promotes inclusivity and intercultural dialogue, the sharing of cultural practices, story-telling, and a safe space for conversation and the celebration of each culture’s unique attributes.”
It was supposed to happen earlier, explained Freda Lombard, Langley Arts Council events coordinator.
“We have been wanting to do this event for quite awhile, but then COVID happened,” Lombard remarked.
It was a free, family-friendly event that, in addition to dancing, featured multicultural music and a vendor’s market that among other things, included poems, composed on the spot by a vendor using a manual typewriter.
After the Bollywood dance demonstration, the Rock Step Swing Dance Society took over, with instructors leading participants through old-time dance steps.
It’s stated mission is “to use swing dancing to improve the quality of lives of those within our communities … to make people feel happier and healthier.”
READ ALSO: ‘Celebration of culture’ brings diverse music, dance, food, and a market, to Aldergrove
That evening, actor, comedian, writer and producer Cliff Prang was the emcee as people tucked into food by Maguis Peruvian Cocina prior to a performance by the Wild Moccasins, an intertribal dance collective that “lives, works, and plays on the unceded Coast Salish territories,” as the program description put it.
They were followed by the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, one of the first professional concert orchestras devoted specifically to performing new intercultural music on western strings and winds alongside Chinese erhu, sanxian, zheng, and sheng/suona; Persian kamanche, tar/setar, and tombak; Vietnamese dan bau; and a variety of other instruments.
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Celebration of Indigenous culture draws hundreds of singers, dancers, and drummers to Langley powwow
Sunday’s vendor market included Alpaca and handmade goods representing Latin American culture, Filipino sponge Cake, Chinese Incense, Peruvian food products, spicy Mexican sweets and more – with live music.
More pictures from the event can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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