As a Japanese-Filipina choreographer myself, I’ve discovered a singular sense of belonging via work with different Asian American dancers. So once I spoke with Deepali Jamwal, I used to be deeply impressed—however not shocked—that she’s harnessed the ability of dance to carry her neighborhood collectively. Jamwal is the founder and inventive director of Live2Dance studio downtown. 

Deepali Jamwal

“Whenever you’re an immigrant to a brand new metropolis, it’s actually onerous to seek out individuals who appear to be you, who suppose such as you,” mentioned Jamwal, a Canadian citizen who’s initially from India. “Most immigrants are far-off from dwelling. I needed to create an area the place the sensation is, ‘You’re new? Now we have a neighborhood of 500 folks to take you into our heat.’” 

Nearly all of Live2Dance college students are adults seeking to blow off steam, get some train–and join with folks from an identical background. One web site testimonial from a pupil named Yogesh Kumar reads: “I used to really feel like I lived in a ‘overseas’ nation for work. Because of Deepali, I now really feel like I’m a part of a neighborhood that she constructed single-handedly.”

After a few years of dreaming about making dance her full-time profession, Jamwal left her company finance job to open Live2Dance in October 2019. However COVID-19 had different plans for the studio. After being pressured to close down, and plenty of months of heartache and uncertainty, finally, Jamwal was capable of finding a brand new area and pull the sources collectively to rebuild, with each monetary and building assist from the neighborhood. Some folks even took day off work to put in flooring, paint partitions and murals. 

Now, on June 17, Live2Dance is celebrating its first yr on this area with an all-night “Dance-a-thon.” The expertise contains snacks, espresso, prizes, breakfast and extra, in addition to back-to-back courses from 6 p.m. to six a.m., June 17–18. All are welcome to attend, together with those that have by no means tried South Asian dance types earlier than.  

“After all, we might have deliberate a celebration that went from morning to night, however we thought that dancing the night time away was one thing folks may need to verify off their bucket record,” Jamwal mentioned. 

A lifelong artist of Indian people and classical dance (amongst different types), Jamwal grew up all the time adapting, studying learn how to make associates, and getting inventive in new conditions due to a army father whose work stored the household shifting. Jamwal enjoys collaborating with artists from totally different cultures and traditions. Along with studying Indian types, college students can even take courses that blend Bollywood, Bhangra, up to date dance, hip-hop and extra to create choices equivalent to “BollySass,” or “BhangraHop.” College students have the chance to carry out in an annual 90-minute dance-drama yearly. 

The studio gives a welcome familiarity for South Asians. Broadly talking, Asians make up greater than 19 % of King County—the most important non-white ethnic group within the space. Some have come for jobs at Microsoft and Amazon. Nonetheless, Asians are additionally a various group encompassing vastly totally different cultures, experiences, and positionalities. South Asians hint their origins from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maldives.

Regardless of their variations, many South Asians within the Live2Dance neighborhood have discovered solidarity all through the worldwide pandemic. Final yr, members of the studio supported each other because the large-scale COVID-19 outbreak threatened the well being and security of family members in India. These scars, the burden of trauma, the struggles of being a small-business proprietor for Jamwal, are actual. However as we speak, the joyful Bollywood beats that beckon folks into this Seattle dance studio are actual, too. 

“This place has helped so many individuals survive the pandemic, smile via it, dance via it.” Jamwal mentioned. “This neighborhood is an ode to life.” 

Tickets to Live2Dance’s all-night Dance-a-thon (which begins at 6 p.m. on June 17) are $145 and will be bought at https://bit.ly/3aKgk65. For extra info, go to live2danceseattle.com



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *