Incredible India!

September 23, 2007

A four day event called Incredible India! kicked off in Newyork today. This event is an attempt to showcase India to America, and will comprise several business meets, panel discussions, and cultural events.

<Update: Pictures lost in the move from WordPress>

If you missed today’s events, there’s still three days to go, and plenty going on. We were there to cover the action, and sure liked what we saw. Here’s our account of the opening day of the event.
There were a host of events today including some high profile ones involving among other things, entry by invitation only. Unfortunately, we are not yet important enough to be invited to events involving union ministers and CEOs. So we settled for the public events.

First Stop: Sand Sculpture of TajMahal (what else!) at Port Authority.

This turned out a bit disappointing. All we could see was the Tajmahal platform. The rest would be ready tomorrow.

Next Stop - Bryant Park (42nd and 5th). Cultural Performances

Guess what we noticed first as we got there? Bang in the middle of all those high-rises stood Tajmahal!

To add to the realism, there even was a fountain in front of the Taj, just like the real one. Lots of people.
Then we saw some little stalls set up to display various forms of handicraft.

We noticed the lack of any Indian food. Funny, considering that food is among the more famous things indian.
Next they started a Bollywood song and dance program. All dances choreographed by Saroj Khan, and rendered pretty nicely.

The Chak De song really roused the very appreciative audience. And Saroj Khan was all nice and humble. She’s lost some weight we think.

Next Up - Indian Folk Dances

They had a group from Gujarat who did the Garba and Dandia. There was a bengali group who did two dances whose names we couldnt really get well enough to spell. Essentially one was your typical folk dance with a lot of very athletic stuf. And another one was a dance they did on STILTS!! That was very cool.



This was the first of the Bengali dances. We were a little taken aback to see all those topless men dancing on the stage.
But they were very good. Coming up next - videos of these performances.

The Stilt Dance. Boy, this must taken a LOT of practice.

The highlight of the show for us was the singers from Rajasthan. They did two songs in their folk style. ‘Dama dam mast kalandar‘ gave us goosebumps. Lets just say it was beautiful.
Then they did a ‘Nimbooda‘ which sounded similar to what we heard in that Aishwarya Rai movie.

Next - Siva Mani and Louis Banks

Now they took some time getting set up. And we used that time to snap up some more pics.

A group of dancers entering the park. We noticed something striking in this picture.

Well, after tweaking their instruments for a while, they were finally ready. Btw, a bird told us that Siva Mani charged 25 lakh (2.5 million) rupees for doing this.
They played for an hour or so. It was good, but a little slow(boring?) for our liking. Towards the end, there were some brilliant moments doubt. There’s a reason why he is as famous as he is. Oh well.

So that was that. Next up was a fashion show by Raghavendra Rathore, some more folk dances, and rounded up with another fashion show by Ritu Kumar.

But we were tired, and exhausted after standing for most part. So that was that for today. This event continues tomorrow. Similar events at Bryant Park, and some others at South Street Seaport. Also there’s an exhibition going on at the Bryant Park hotel. We weren’t able to check that out yet. More on these events as they happen.
Stay tuned!

Update: Videos from First Day posted on Youtube

Our Favorite - Jhule Lal

We call this the Snake Dance

The Stilt Dance

There’s more videos on the youtube site

Update 2: Day 3(25 Sep, 07)

We went to Bryant park tonight, and caught some more folk dance action, and a fashion show by Ritu Kumar.

Videos from the Fashion Show

Update 3: Finale (26 Sep, 07)

We were back to the south street seaport to catch the concluding action.


First up was a concert by the Colonial Cousins (Hariharan and Leslie Lewis). They did a good job entertaining the pretty big crowd, once they were done tweaking the sound settings a hundred times.

Next was the showpiece - a fusion of all the folk dances that had been performed over the days. So we had bihu dancers dancing at the same time as the dandia dancers, the bengali group doing their dance with a group of very talented sword fighters. Eventually everybody was on the stage in a graceful blend of all the regions, their cultures, and dances.
It was all very well done.

The night ended with a bang with a rendition of the remixed Vande Mataram by a couple of american girls, their thick accents underlying the fact that an american was singing the holiest of indian songs.

We have compiled too many videos to embed them all here. You can catch all the action here.

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10 Responses to “ Incredible India! ”

  1. pr3rna on September 24, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Incredible India!!!!
    World Cup champions!!!!!
    Incredible India indeed !!!!!!!!!!

  2. amreekandesi on September 25, 2007 at 6:23 am
  3. supermaneesh on September 25, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Awesome…Thanks for putting up the pics and the videos!

  4. madhuri on September 25, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Jiyo! Great footage.

  5. amreekandesi on September 25, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks Maneesh and Madhuri for the appreciation.

    There’s more videos coming up of some more performances i caught tonight, and some great footage of the ritu kumar fashion show. Need to do some video editing before i can post it though.

  6. amreekandesi on September 27, 2007 at 12:24 am

    New videos - ritu kumar fashion show, colonial cousins’ performances, the fusion dances finale, and a classic vande mataram.

  7. shehla masood on September 28, 2007 at 3:49 am

    Holding the Incredible India celebrations in New York alongside the United Nations general assembly is a gamble of millions

  8. rohit on July 8, 2009 at 7:44 am

    wow awesome pics, great show :)

  9. Kurtis Online on March 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Incredible India! and the videos and photos available here feel us proud that we are Indian. Thanks for putting it here.

  10. Craftsvilla Kurtis on September 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Superb pics and videos.Really India is incredible. Vande Matram….

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