India themed gala will raise funds for the Environmental Alliance

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A taste of Bollywood is coming to Bermuda as part of the first major fund-raising event for the newly created Bermuda Environmental Alliance.

One of the dance routines featured in the hit film 'Slumdog Millionaire' is to be recreated in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

It will be one part of an evening designed to crossover cultural barriers, while also focusing on environmental issues affecting Bermuda and the world.

  • <b>A taste of India:</b> A promotional image for the upcoming fund-raising event for the Bermuda Environmental Alliance, which is being held at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on June 8.

    A taste of India: A promotional image for the upcoming fund-raising event for the Bermuda Environmental Alliance, which is being held at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on June 8.

  • <b>Big production: </b>The Jai Ho dance routine, as featured in the hit movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Some of the dance choreography from the song is to be recreated at a gala event for the Bermuda Environmental Alliance, to be held in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel next week.

    Big production: The Jai Ho dance routine, as featured in the hit movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Some of the dance choreography from the song is to be recreated at a gala event for the Bermuda Environmental Alliance, to be held in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel next week.


A taste of Bollywood is coming to Bermuda as part of the first major fund-raising event for the newly created Bermuda Environmental Alliance.

One of the dance routines featured in the hit film 'Slumdog Millionaire' is to be recreated in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

It will be one part of an evening designed to crossover cultural barriers, while also focusing on environmental issues affecting Bermuda and the world.

The private gala, entitled 'An Indian Night for Planet Earth', takes place on Tuesday, June 8.

The Alliance's four-part documentary miniseries on aspects of Bermuda's environment, which aired last month on Discovery Channel Canada, will also be shown to guests.

John Wight, the Bermuda Environmental Alliance's (BEA) fund-raising chairman, said that in addition to the entertainment guests would leave with "a better understanding of the BEA's mission to create awareness of environmental issues through education and global exchange of information by using visual and social media".

He said the BEA, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, will be visiting several schools during the second week of June to discuss with students the importance of environmental issues for Bermuda.

The BEA's stated mission is to raise environmental issues through education and a global exchange of information by using visual and social media.

During the Indian Night event guests are to be treated to musical entertainment from the Bermuda Music School and a selection of dance performances from the Sabor Dance School, including a routine to the tune 'Jai Ho' from the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'.

Dance teacher Mirabelle d'Cunha said there would be actual choreography from the film together with a variety of other styles from the 12 dancers due to take part.

She said: "The desire is to help mother Earth through supporting the BEA to create awareness that Indian dance is not just Bollywood."

And, to illustrate the point, she pointed out that an Indian film venture expected on the Island later this year will not be creating a Bollywood production, but actually a regional language film for the state of Andhra Pradesh, separate from the largely Hindu/English Bollywood productions that emerge from the city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay).

On the expected reaction to the taste of Indian culture, she added: "I anticipate people will be curious. India has always been considered exotic by the west and is very unique and one of the oldest world cultures, with so much vibrancy and colour and positivity. It always allows for wild imaginings, emotions and dramatic and entertaining exaggeration."

The night of environmental issues and Indian culture has already received good support from business people, corporate groups and individuals. And funds raised will be used to bolster future work of the BEA.

Tracey Gibbons, of the BEA's fund-raising team, said: "We are very privileged to live on this beautiful Island and there are various organisations and many people within our community who recognise how important it is to protect our fragile environment and precious resources.

"The insurance community in particular is all too familiar with the devastating effects mankind's activities and climate change can have on our world and, as such, we have seen a lot of support from that sector of the community."

Former Island TV news reporter Sangita Iyer, is the BEA's founding executive officer. She was born and raised in India and has since lived in Kenya, Bermuda and Canada.

She said: "Global travel and technology is breaking cultural barriers more than ever before. What happens in one part of the world rumbles across our planet, environmentally and economically, just like the oil spill in Louisiana."

She feels part of the message from the Indian Night is to show the interconnectivity between peoples and countries of the world when it comes to protecting the environment for everyone's mutual benefit.

And she illustrated the potential of sharing ideas across the world by mentioning Indian customs of hand washing and line-drying of clothes to save on resources and use what is freely available with the minimum impact to the environment.

"Also, a place in India called Chirapunji receives the highest amount of rainfall in the world. Can you imagine if we share Bermuda's roof catchment technology?" she added.

"There are huge opportunities for exchange of information and having been born and raised in India I see how that can be done not only between Bermuda and India, but also with people around the world."

Ms Iyer feels the Indian theme of the evening is timely, given the anticipated Indian film production coming to Bermuda later this year.

With the video previews of the BEA-produced TV miniseries, together with steel pan drums, Indian dancing and a few other surprises, she believes the event will be a success.

And she thanked the Fairmont Hotels Bermuda management team Jon Crellin and Norman Mastelir for their assistance in organising the gala.

ē Corporate group and individual tickets ($200 per person) are still available online at www.bermudatix.bm. The gala will be in the Harbourview Room at the Fairmont Hamilton.

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