A celebration of the Indian holiday Diwali is coming to Pleasanton next month to raise money for the school district's band and orchestra programs.
Dandiya Night 2015 will feature a celebration for Diwali, a Hindu festival called the "festival of lights," with dance performances and food to fundraise for the Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation, event coordinator Viji Manickam said.
The Nov. 7 event, set for 5-10 p.m. at Amador Valley High, will feature five styles of classical Indian dancing, as well as a Bollywood performance by Amador Valley students. Short dance classes will be taught between performances, and dinner will be served.
"We also want to bring awareness to the community's diversity," she said. "It's for the whole community to experience. The event is not (just) for the Indians; it's for the whole community."
Manickam, a 15-year Pleasanton resident, said she's never seen an Indian holiday publicly celebrated in town, and she wants to share the liveliness and energy of Indian celebrations with the community.
She said Indian American children rarely get the opportunity to see all of India's classical dances, and the fundraiser will bring in artists from across the Bay Area to cover as many as possible, including bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, kathak, odissi and mohiniyattam, as well as the modern Bollywood dances seen in popular movies.
She said the money raised will go toward buying instruments for Pleasanton Unified School District's music programs so students don't have to purchase their own instruments to participate. Funding will also go toward some Indian cultural clubs at Pleasanton schools, such as Amador Valley's Bhangra and Bollywood clubs.
Tickets can be purchased online at Event Brite by searching "PUSDandiya 2015." Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are free for children 3 and younger.
Manickam said organizers haven't decided yet whether tickets will be sold at the door, but food might not be available for those who buy tickets the day of the event.