Duniya Dance and Drum Company is celebrating 10 years of movement, rhythm and community! From performances that honor traditional dance and music to community classes and festivals, we make work that champions cultural exchange, social justice and community building.
We are asking our supporters to help Duniya kick-start another decade by making a donation and watching it double! Dancers’ Group will match every dollar raised as part of their brand-new initiative to help organizations like Duniya continue to create, perform, and educate.
In a climate of cultural disparity and segregation, help Duniya continue to unite, connect and cultivate cross-cultural cohesion through traditional forms of music and dance.
Help us raise $3,000 by September 4th (yep, that’s just over a week away)! Funds raised will support our 10th anniversary production; allow us to pay for rehearsal space, choreographers and artists; and make it possible to plan Duniya’s next decade!
We welcome any donation, big or small, and thank you for your ongoing support!
On April 8th, SAADA will host Where We Belong: Artists in the Archive, a day-long symposium in Philadelphia bringing together artists, activists, academics, and archivists to explore ways to challenge the systematic erasure of stories of marginalized communities in America. Five artists, including Joti Singh, will premiere prototypes of new works inspired by overlooked histories of South Asians in the US. Learn more and register now.
“Learn some seriously fun footwork at Duniya’s Bollywood classes, which combine fabulous Bollywood music with a variety of moves from Indian folk dances to modern hip hop. Combined, they form a diverse routine to make you dance like a star. // Thursdays at 7:45pm, ODC Dance Commons, 351 Shotwell St. (Mission),
If I could imagine a high school experience, where I fit in, felt inspired, and gained nuanced insight from my peers, it would be attending an unconventional, stimulating, challenging public school in San Francisco with a program focused on World Dance. Luckily for today’s high school students in this quickly morphing city, such a program will be rolling out this coming August. And lucky for me, I’ll be guiding them on their journeys.
“Joti Singh, artistic director of the Duniya Dance Company, has a very special connection to Ghadar history as the great-granddaughter of Ghadar leader Bhagwan Singh Gyanee. In her recent work “Red, Saffron, and Green,” a moving two-hour bhangra, spoken word, and music performance, Singh explored Ghadar history through her family’s story, using biography as an entry point to a complex history. “Knowing this history,” she explains, “makes you realize and question where we are now, and where our struggle is.””
Through original music (by Ishmeet Narula), Bhangra choreography, spoken word, and video, Joti and her collaborators tell, represent, and evoke Bhagwan’s story. The effect is a layered addition to our understanding of what it means to be American, Indian, and at home.
““I’ve had it in my mind for a while to do a piece about my great grandfather… it’s the centennial of the Gadar Party, and there is a lot of energy around celebrating the members of the party,” says Singh. In 1909 Bhagwan Singh Gyanee was forced to leave India due to his work for Indian independence, and he traveled throughout Hong Kong, Canada, and the United States before serving as president of the Gadar Party from 1914 to 1920. “I always thought of my great grandfather as a hero, and I still do. I also have more understanding now of how much his family had to sacrifice in order for him to become this hero. When he left India, he left a wife and kids behind, including my grandmother,” explains Singh.”
In “The Madness of the Elephant,” the Duniya Dance and Drum Company tells the saga of Guinea’s first president, Sekou “the Elephant” Toure, equally known as a benefactor of the country’s traditional arts and a paranoid dictator. In the process, they look back on Guinea’s history and forward to its future.
There are many ways to support Duniya’s creative work and teaching. Your donations directly fund new costumes, and hiring professional editors to put together our videos from “Half and Halves,” and “Lanyee,” so that we can continue to promote and perform these shows. They also help us to secure rehearsal space, create our promotional materials, and cover general operating expenses. All tax-deductible donations are made through our fiscal sponsor, Dancers’ Group (dancersgroup.org).
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