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Behind the Scenes: Kismat – A Bollywood Destiny...

November is here, and Joya Kazi Unlimited is busy preparing for its first annual Fall Showcase, Kismat - A Bollywood Destiny, which will take place Sunday, November 20th at the Covina Performing Arts center. The showcase is a culmination of two years worth of training and concept development to support the part-time and full-time careers of dance artists as well as promote dance education in our community.

Joya Kazi, Artistic Director, has been working non-stop to make her visions come to life, putting her heart and soul into the show.

"I'm looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work over the past two years finally coming together on stage. We’ve spent so much time in the studio, learning choreography, perfecting every single move & expression," she says proudly. "The kids have been working on their technique for quite some time now and it will be so great to see the final product in their amazing, beautiful costumes."

Kismat will feature themed Bollywood pieces by JKU students from over six locations in Southern California, innovative acts by JKU company dancers as well as performances by Sahyba, a talented rising singer whose credits include Nick Cannon and Ray J.

Company dancers rehearse multiple times a week, creating and perfecting five different pieces that exhibit different thematic styles, encompassing Modern Bollywood, Contemporary Kathak, Lyrical, and Bharatanatyam.

Joya is especially excited to present the pieces from the professional company, who have been working hard on every detail of the production from costuming, color schemes, choreography, props, and stage set-up.

Although this will be JKU's first showcase, Joya has been a premiere dancer & choreographer for years now, committing herself to preserving classical Indian arts while bridging the gap to modern dance styles without sacrificing authenticity and quality.

Joya choreographed her first production as a 12-year old where she choreographed Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, and Rabindra Nritya pieces and managed 120 dancers ages 5-400 for the Hindu Mythological story of "Mahishasura Mardini." The show was presented to a sold out audience and jumpstarted Joya's choreography career.

Since then, her credits have grown to include choreographing for India's #1 reality dance TV show "Dance India Dance", choreographing for NBA & NFL dance teams, performing with Bollywood actors & artists such as Madhuri Dixit, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Siddharth Malhotra, Ranveer Singh, Amrita Sen, AR Rahman, Babul Supriyo, Gippy Grewal & Bohemia. She can be seen in internationally running Walmart and Google commercials. Her work also includes Disney, Dreamworks, Grammys, E! Entertainment, International Indian Film Academy Awards, FOX Season Premiere of New Girl, choreographing for the Miss. America 2014 ­ Nina Davuluri & Sacramento Kings NBA Dance Team halftime performance, Germany's Next Top Model, the Pre-­Broadway musical ­- "BollyDoll", music video "Hands Up" ft. Cappadonna of Wu-Tang Clan, "Mystic India - The World Tour", and Barack Obama's Inaugaral Ball.

Natalie White, one of JKU's first company dancers, has been working with Joya since there were just three dancers rehearsing in Joya's living room. She attributes JKU's growth in such a short amount of time to Joya's work ethic and talent.

She also recognizes Joya's passion for spreading her creativity and passion for dance, as well as her ability to lead a company that supports, respects, and encourages one another.

"Joya always makes sure that everyone in the company feels valued and goes above and beyond to treat her company members with respect," says Natalie. "I am very excited to perform in the showcase on November 20th. Joya and everyone involved has worked so hard to get this show to an outstanding performance level. I am happy to be a part of it, and I can't wait for the audience to see a huge mix of styles and influences."

With all the money and time that goes into the organization and production of the event, Kismat would not be possible without the incredible support from family, friends, sponsors, and arts advocates in the community. According to Joya, Kismat is also "a huge thank you to everyone who has given us so much support over the past couple years."

Today, Joya Kazi Unlimited has successfully developed both the professional dance troupe as well as the student academy. Joya hopes that this showcase will finally present to people JKU's unique technique-based curriculum, where dancers are taught contemporary, jazz, classical, and hip hop dance techniques that are then applied to the Bollywood genre to provide students with a strong dance foundation.

"I’m really looking forward to people seeing how this approach to teaching Bollywood dance can really make a difference in dance training for people of all ages," says Joya. "We really want to give our audience an exceptional Bollywood experience that is unlike anything they have ever had and we truly hope that everyone enjoys it."


Buy your tickets to showcase before we sell out! If you are interested in donating or sponsoring Kismat, please refer to the official sponsorship packet on our website to find out about our tier benefits. For questions or further details, please contact Creative Director Joya Kazi at (929) 777-JOYA or at

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