Maximum India festival in Washington DC showcases India's top talent

Nevada, March 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio)  Prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC is hosting three-week long “Maximum India” festival ending March 20, showcasing India focused events involving dance, music, theater, literature, film, exhibitions, and cuisine, and can cost up to $100 each for a single event.

Prominent festival participants include Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Dilip Basu, Shyam Benegal, Nandita Das, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Hariharan, Zakir Hussain, Girish Karnad, Shankar Mahadevan, Deepa Mehta, Ketan Mehta, Rajan and Sajan Misra, Ashis Nandy, DJ Rekha, Salman Rushdie, Nayantara Sahgal, Sharmila Tagore, etc.

Special menus are being prepared by 12 master chefs brought from the four corners of India for the entire period of the festival. One session with Chef Hemant Oberoi, Executive Grand Chef of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, costs $100.

It is also offering a Bhangra Class with DJ Rekha, celebratory dance of the snake charmers, brass band music and sari exhibition. About India, Center announcement says: It colors life in more hues than there are in a rainbow; offers 300 ways to cook a potato; every few miles, India presents itself differently; etc.

Applauding Kennedy Center for India focused festival, Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed said that performing arts had a long and rich tradition in India.

Rajan Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged other major performing arts centers of the world to frequently organize India focused festivals, thus sharing India’s rich heritage in performing arts with the rest of the world. Zed urged Kennedy Center to make India festival an annual event.

Various events/performances at the festival include: odissi, bharatanatyam, abhinaya, chhau, kuchipudi, bhangra, Bollywood, kathakali, etc., dances; mandolin, Rajasthani folk, tabla, carnatic, violin, ghazal, Sufi, thumri, geet, Indo-jazz fusion, sitar, piano, dhol, bhangra-hiphop fusion, etc., music; nati, comedy, plays, puppets, etc., in theater; Tagore-Gandhi letters, reading from "The Last Mughal", etc., under literature;

"Portrayal of Indian Women in Film", Mandi (1983), Satyajit Ray’s Devi (1960), Dhobi Ghat (2010), Mirch Masala (1985), etc. in films; crafts, jewelry, India for children, pankhas, etc., exhibitions.

Organizations and individuals who helped in making this festival possible include: Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Washington DC Embassy of India, Indra K. Nooyi, David M. Rubenstein, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Dr. Romesh and Kathleen Wadhwani, HRH Foundation, Pepsico, Tata, Tata Consultancy Services, Alice Rubenstein, Trehan Foundation, Amway Corporation, AT&T, and State Plaza Hotel.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts claims to be nation's busiest performing arts center, hosting approximately 3,000 events each year for audiences numbering more than two million. Since 1971, it has been bringing the world to Washington DC with magnificent performances of music, dance, theater, and more. David M. Rubenstein is the Chairman and Michael M. Kaiser is its President.