Our Fusion Friday season premiere Friday Night Fever was two fantastic parties in one: The night was both a dance party and a celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary! The festivities started almost right away with the KCAL 9 News pulling up to the front door and setting up to broadcast the event throughout the night.
Soon, some of our favorite food trucks: Frysmith Truck and The Sweets Truck pulled into our parking lot and lines started forming immediately. The museum doors opened right at 7:30 and staff and volunteers worked very quickly to check in our guests. As guests entered the courtyard they were greeted to Indian, Middle Eastern, Jazz and House tunes by DJ Tony Cheung and a beautifully decorated courtyard. In honor of PAM’s birthday, we had a fun surprise for our guests: free cupcakes from Auntie Em’s.
The night’s first performer was Sayaka, who kicked off the dance party with a four-part bellydance performance. The crowd danced along to the vibrant music and some brave folks even accepted Sayaka’s invitation to dance with her. Sayaka followed up her performance with a detailed lesson for those interested in learning more about the tradition and technique of bellydance.
The headliner for the evening was the Shakti Dance Company, comprised of ten dancers who performed two dances: a traditional Indian dance and a Bollywood-style dance. With their leader Viji Prakash – who first performed here in 1977 – the troupe led the audience in a group lesson about the basics of Indian dance.
The crowd was in great spirits, enjoying the open galleries, our special exhibition ‘Visions of the Orient: Western Women Artists in Asia 1900- 1940’, as well as the hands-on activities and Henna by Lotus Henna‘s Paula Broussard upstairs! All in all, it was a wonderful summer night that brought many new visitors to our museum and we hope to see you all back for our next Fusion Friday: Dragons and Drums on June 17!