Although their campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support Dhirana, you may always do so here.

Dhirana 2020

Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
57 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 27, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Dhirana 2020

What is Dhirana?

Dhirana is an intercollegiate Indian classical dance competition hosted by students of the University of Pittsburgh. Dhirana brings an ancient and unique cultural tradition to the northeast region while giving back to the local Pittsburgh community. 

After hosting Laasya 2012, Pitt Nrityamala created Dhirana with the community’s support and enthusiastic involvement from college students. Not only is Dhirana the first large-scale, student-run dance competition hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, it is also one of the only nationally recognized competitions featuring Indian classical dance styles such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and Odissi. 

Each year, the competition features eight collegiate teams from across the country who portray stories through different styles of dance. World-renowned judges, committed to preserving this ancient art form, evaluate the teams on nritta - intricate footwork, mudras - hand gestures, abhinaya - facial expressions, and other aspects of the dance. Hundreds of spectators enjoy this phenomenal show and are immersed in a powerful storytelling experience.

This year, we are proud to host eight teams at Dhirana on February 22, 2020 at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

What is our mission?

  • Provide a platform for classical Indian dancers at the collegiate level
  • Promote awareness of classical Indian dance
  • Give back to the Pittsburgh community through philanthropy and service

Birmingham Free Clinic

All ticket-sale proceeds from Dhirana 2020 will go directly to the Birmingham Free Clinic. The Birmingham Free Clinic Salvation Army Homeless Drop-In Center serves uninsured and underinsured patients in the Pittsburgh community. The clinic strives to be an inclusive resource to all in the community; volunteer translators and medical personnel provide their services to patients throughout the week. 

The clinic exclusively utilizes a volunteer group of health care providers. Services include primary and acute care, chronic disease management, physical exams, medication access and management, tuberculosis testing, influenza vaccines, health education, and on-site specialty consult services for cardiology, dermatology, vision, endocrinology, and pulmonary problems. In the past seven years, Dhirana has donated over $80,000 to the Birmingham Free Clinic. 

We need your help!

The total cost of putting on the show is $25,517.50. To reach our goal, we coordinate several fundraising events, sponsorship events, grants, and our EngagePittTM campaign. It has always been Dhirana’s top priority to have 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales donated to the Birmingham Free Clinic. To help us maximize this amount, we appreciate any contribution to our cause!

We aim to raise $4,000 over the next two months in order to pay for various costs of the competition, such as the venue rental, lighting equipment, and audio support for the event. We greatly appreciate each and every donation as we prepare to host Dhirana 2020! 

Our budget is as follows and is based on the past seven Dhirana events: 

Your generosity will allow us to fund vital components needed to put on a successful show. For more information on Dhirana 2020, please visit our website Please feel free to email us at with any questions or inquiries you may have! Thank you for your support!

Choose a giving level



Alarippu is the first dance piece a Bharatnatyam dancer learns and performs. It is a dance which offers respect to God and the audience. This donation will be used to pay for prizes for the teams.



Pushpanjali is the opening dance in a performance. It is a salutation to the lord of dance Nataraja, the Guru (dance teacher), the musicians, and the audience. This donation will be used to pay for trophies and gifts for the teams.



Jatiswaram is the next dance in a performance after Pushpanjali. It is a technical dance that showcases the form of Bharatnatyam, without any accompanying verses. This donation will be used to pay for t-shirt printing.



Kouvtuam is a piece that combines technique and expression in praise of a God. This donation will be used to pay for program printing.



Thillana is an intense, rhythmic piece which is usually performed at the end of a dance performance. It is one of the hardest dances to master technique wise. This donation will be used to pay for audio and lighting for the venue.



Padams are pieces of reverence and expression during devotional religious prayer. The music that accompanies this dance tends to be more emotional. This donation will be used to pay for audio and lighting for the venue.



Varnams are the centerpiece of an arangetram (Bharatnatyam debut recital). These dances are performed to the most complex pieces of Carnatic music. This donation will be used to pay for the rental costs of the venue.

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