‘The Wizard Of Mumbai’ Dances Of India Performance Set For Oct. 17

Enjoy the music, dancing and amazing fabrics at ‘The Wizard of Mumbai’ Sunday Oct. 17 at Duane Smith Auditorium. Pictured is actor/dancer Vrinda Vinu. Courtesy photo


Audience members will be heading to Mumbai to follow Dharti on her adventure to see the Wizard! The performance of “The Wizard of Mumbai” starts at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Duane Smith Auditorium.

A friend of The Family YMCA’s Kathak instructor and director of the production, Alina Deshpande, suggested she should make her own version of the Wizard of Oz years ago when she was planning another show.

“The plan was to do this show in October 2020, but COVID changed everything,” said Deshpande.

This year’s performance will feature 15 members of the Y’s Kathak class from ages 8 to 73. They will dance with invited local guest dancers and actors. Deshpande has been teaching Kathak at the Y for 15 years.

Deshpande said many of the costumes were stitched in India for this show.

“The story is very much along the lines of the Wizard of Oz, but it has been modified to fit in the Indian classical and folk dances in an Indian setting,” she said. “We follow Dharti through her journey after her house was blown away by a tornado and landed her in Munchkinland, and it includes the wicked witch of the East.”

Dharti meets the Munchkins who tell her to see the Wizard of Mumbai for help to get back home. On her way she meets the scarecrow, the tinman and the cowardly lion, who share the adventure with her.

Deshpande usually picks an international charity or organization that the Y USA works with to donate the proceeds from the performance. This year she has decided to keep the money local and contribute the proceeds to The Family YMCA’s annual campaign, saying that The Family YMCA has suffered greatly during these past 18 months because of waning memberships.

The Y’s Annual Campaign raises funds to provide financial assistance scholarships to members and youth in childcare and sports, and also supports the Española YMCA Teen Center. Approximately 1 in 4 youth in the Y’s Afterschool and Camp programs is on assistance, and 100 adults annually enjoy aid for membership.

Donations will be accepted at the performance. A sale of snacks and unique Indian items will be available during half-time intermission.

Covid – 19 update: 

Due to the current Covid pandemic Dances of India is taking every precaution to make your Dances of  India experience safe. 

∙ There will be a limited amount of seats available in the Duane Smith Auditorium to make sure  we can space out different households at a safe distance.  

o Every other row will be closed off and there will be at least two seats between every  household.  

o Everyone must wear masks at all times.  

o Before entering the auditorium there will be sanitizing stations available, please use  them. 

∙ Snacking and drinking will happen outside, dress in layers in case of weather.  

We would like to invite the rest of the community, and family who can’t attend, to view it safely by  posting a recording of the event and the possibility for you to donate through The YMCA’s website. 

Details of when and where to find the performance digitally will be forthcoming.