Free event: Meher Dance Company performs for Chicago Live! Festival at Navy Pier

Bollywood on lakefront by Meher Dance Company: It's fun, on fire and free!

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Watch Meher Dance Company perform for Chicago Live! downtown
Looking for things to do in Chicago this weekend? Enjoy a free Bollywood night with the Chicago Live! Festival at Navy Pier in Streeterville.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 is counting down to the Chicago Live! Festival this weekend.

You can see the very best of our city's music, dance and theater community. How about some Bollywood, Chicago style? Hosea Sanders went to Navy Pier to show us what that looks like. On Saturday and Sunday, there are back-to-back performances there.

Chicago Live! is a two-day arts festival happening this weekend right on Lake Michigan at Navy Pier.

It's Bollywood on the lakefront by the Meher Dance Company. It's fun, on fire and free!

Artistic Director Gopi Engineer got all of this going 12 years ago. Performances are soaring in popularity and classes keep growing.

"Bollywood dance is just about having fun, letting your inhibitions go, and really just channeling the joy that you feel with the beat. Even if you don't know the words, you feel the beats and have a good time," Engineer said. "Just having our troupe be able to cultivate our tradition and our heritage and work so hard at it, and bring their passion and joy to the stage as a group is meaningful."

Engineer said all kinds of people take the classes.

"Oh, we have everyone from 3-year-olds to 70-year-olds," Engineer said. "You know the truth is, it's contagious. It has a lively spirit. It's joyful. There's a lot of depth and meaning to it as well, and the beats are amazing, so you can't help but get up and dance."

Engineer encouraged everyone to come out to Navy Pier.

"I say come out, bring all your friends and family, and learn some moves. We're going to teach a few moves at the end of our performance. Really come and have fun and learn something new," Engineer said.

The Meher troupe makes everyone want to get up and do some Bollywood moves of their own.

"Come out and see Meher Dance Company, this Sunday on the east stage at 12:30 p.m. Trust us, you're gonna love it," the dancers said.

Chicago Live! includes nearly 70 different companies and the city's most talented performers. And, you can get them all for free.