Published: November 13, 2013



What: World Music and Movement Festival
When: Saturday, November 16, 2013, 11am – 5pm
Where: Bruin Plaza, UCLA
Parking: Lot 7 or Lot 4; $12.00 all-day parking

Facebook page

Natsha Siri (left) and Ryan Vig (center), organizers of the
World Music and Movement Festival and B.A. students in
ethnomusicology, discuss the festival with Donna Armstrong.

"Student serenades Bruin Walk with sitar"
(Daily Bruin article, Thursday, November 14, 2013).

Downloadable pdf flier

Interview with Natsha Siri and Ryan Vig

Armstrong: Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, Natsha and Ryan. Tell us about the World Music and Movement Festival and how you organized it.

Siri: The World Music and Movement Festival will take place this Saturday, November 16, from 11am to 5pm, in Bruin Plaza on the UCLA campus. It is the first festival of the World Music and Movement Festival organization. The organization started last January 2013 with a small group of students interested in collaboration between music and dance – between World Arts and Cultures and the Ethnomusicology Department. Our organization grew as we attracted people from different departments, including staff members from the School of the Arts and Architecture, and from South Campus. Now we have nine student directors in charge of the festival publicity and programs, and we have committee members in charge of events (production), videography and photography (history), and a fundraising group.

Armstrong: So, whose idea was this originally?

Siri: I started it. I was involved in WAC during my sophomore year, taking classes in Cambodian classical dance and Indian Classical dance. While taking the classes and meeting a lot of the WAC students, I had an idea that students from the two departments should collaborate. This was around February of 2012. At that time, it was just a dream – I wanted it to happen but I didn’t know how it could happen. I wanted to have a festival since there was no longer a sacred music festival [the Sacred Music Festival, created by Judy Mitoma, took place in October of 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011]. I talked about my idea with three close friends – Teira Church, a vocalist in the jazz studies concentration, Connor Vance, a violinist in the Music Department, and Samad Guerra, a dancer in the WAC/Dance Department. They were very supportive. They helped me to look for more people. By November of 2012 we had added more staff members and were a team of twenty-five or more people.

Armstrong: Ryan, why did you join the team?

Vig: I have a lot of friends who are Ethnomusicology, Music, WAC majors, DESMA majors [Department of Design Media Arts], and other arts-related majors. I kept thinking of ideas to get everyone together, like improvisational art and dance collaborations. Then Natsha approached me with this idea, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Armstrong: Besides the sacred music festivals, were there other festivals that served as prototypes?

Siri: We had heard about the “Music and Dance on the Grass” festival that took place in the 70s and 80s at UCLA. We also like some aspects of the Jazz/Reggae festival and the Spring Sing. Our festival features music and dance traditions that are not well known or prominently displayed on campus.

Armstrong: How did you find the participants?

Siri: Everyone submitted an application and did an audition. There were two rounds of auditions. The first round took place in the spring of 2013, and consisted of people who we know personally from the World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department and HASOM (the ethnomusicology, music, and musicology departments). The second round took place in fall 2013. There are seventeen groups in the final lineup. The groups are diverse. There are a variety of genres that represent traditions from around the world.

Armstrong: How does organizing this event relate to your goals for the future?

Siri: I will graduate in winter 2014 with a B.A. degree in ethnomusicology, public ethnomusicology emphasis. I would like to pursue a career in the entertainment business, looking toward festival production – anything that has to do with event coordinating. I am also thinking of applying to graduate school in performing arts management or arts leadership.

Vig: I’m in my third year in the B.A. program in ethnomusicology with a scholarly research emphasis. I am interested in going into the academic world/graduate school. My professional goals include instrument building, instrument repair, and being a curator of world music instruments.

Siri: Everything I’m doing now for this festival is giving me experience for productions that I might do in the future. It is giving me experience in working with all kinds of people. It is interesting and I feel like I am learning so much. Now I have the patience to deal with challenges that come my way. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that communication is the key. Some people can do things but are not able to communicate with others about what they are doing. But everyone needs to be on the same page. I have also directed Thai Culture Night. Organizing is time-consuming and difficult, but in the end, it’s all worth it.

Armstrong: Thank you, Natsha and Ryan.


World Music and Movement Festival Schedule of Events - Saturday, November 16




11:20-11:35am Bitteloshuchskata Grupa Bulgarian Wedding Songs
11:40-11:50am Abhinaya (Espression) Kathak Indian Classical Dance
11:55am-12:05pm Sharon Xu Chinese Pop & Traditional Vocal/Instrumental Songs
12:10-12:25pm UCLA's Armenian Dance Group Armenian Dance
12:30-12:45pm Sa Stát Óir (In the Golden State) Irish Traditional Music
12:50-1:00pm Aditi Agrawal Bharatanatyam Indian Classical Dance
1:05-1:15pm Bernadaette Mondok Filipino Anthem and Folk Songs
1:20-1:35pm LA Dabke Troupe Traditional Folk Dance Genre (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan)
1:40-1:50pm Brigette Prokhorenko Blues Vocal Music
1:55-2:05pm WMMF Staff TBA
2:10-2:25pm Nigerian Student Association Traditional and Modern Styles of Nigerian Dance
2:30-2:45pm We The Folk Latino Folk Sound
2:50-3:00pm Ram Thai Troupe Foun SriKhotaboon; Thai Classical Dance from N. Thailand
3:05-3:20pm The Kids in Detention Space Rock and Roll
3:25-3:40pm Funktion Hip Hop Dance Genres
3:45-4:00pm Zach Ramacier Group Jazz Music
4:05-4:20pm Naadham Indian Classical Music
4:25-4:40pm Naomi & The Bandits Modern Folk Rock