On the occasion of World Dance Day, which falls on Saturday, 29 April, Dragvanti and Queer Nilayam, will be hosting the first Hyderabad Queer Dance Festival at Nirvana Studio in Kondapur from 5pm to 8pm. Queer Connect, Dark Vibe Society, and Raqsology, are also lending support to the first-ever exclusive queer dance festival in Hyderabad. Some of the performers for the festival include Sravan Telu, Hyderabad’s first male belly dancer, Prem Leela, Trans folk artist, Apoorva, Hyderabad’s first queer Bachata dancer. Khemaya, a trans person performing Mahari and Patruni Sastry, a drag expressionist dancer. The festival has exclusive line-up of local queer artists across all the spectrums.
Hyderabad-based drag artist, Patruni Sastry, stepped into the drag career on 9 June 2019, with an intent to bring drag to the Nawabi city. “Since then, my journey with drag has been an awesome ride,” he says and adds that he has been able to present drag in multiple national and international spaces and is proud of creating a space for Indian drag. As the world celebrates World Dance Day, Sastry believes that it is essential to provide a platform for the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves through dance. “Dance is an expression of oneself, and the LGBTQ+ community has always found solace and freedom in the art of dance,” Sastry says. The artist further adds: “Being queer and dance as an expression go hand in hand, as it helps one express themselves and their identities in ways that words cannot.”
According to Dragvanti, the Hyderabad Queer Dance Festival is a safe and supportive space that aims to encourage and showcase the talents of the LGBTQ+ community in the field of dance. “All the artists who will be performing at the festival are from the queer spectrum, making it an inclusive event that celebrates diversity and talent,” Sastry says.
Dark Vibe Society and Raqsology have also extended their support to this festival, recognizing the importance of providing an opportunity for queer artists to showcase their skills and talent. It is believed that this festival promises to be a feast for the eyes and soul, with a range of dance forms, including contemporary, classical, hip-hop, and Bollywood.
“We believe that it is crucial to celebrate the diverse expressions of queer identity, and dance is a powerful tool that allows us to do just that. We hope that this festival will inspire and empower more queer artists to come forward and showcase their talent,” Sastry says.The tickets for this event are priced from Rs.200 to Rs.500. Visit www.dragvanti.com for details.