A Peek into the Rich Weave of Indian Culture
Confluence – Festival of India in Australia opened out in a breathtaking fashion with over 200 guests in attendance, including media and government representatives from India and Australia.
Tuesday, 26 July, the Maritime Museum in Sydney saw the official launch of Confluence. The festival is the most significant showcase of Indian arts and culture ever to be staged in Australia to roll out in seven cities across the country between August and November 2016. Events are scheduled in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
The national media launch was a phenomenal success and a promise of what would unfold when the first show kicks off on 15 August in Melbourne. It will coincide with the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence Day celebrations.
Paul Myler, Assistant Secretary, India & Indian Ocean Branch, DFAT addressed one of the festival’s key components that night, fostering bilateral ties, with joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers. Kevin Sumption, Director, and CEO Maritime Museum provided the host welcome.
“I would like to thank the Indian Government and all the artists from India who have brought this showcase of Indian culture to Australia on such a grand scale. The Australian Government is proud to support the festival and looks forward to its success over the coming months, in cities across Australia. In particular, the Government is pleased that the festival features joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers. I hope the Festival of India will help to foster closer ties between our nations.” said Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts.
“Confluence represents a meeting point – of arts and artistes, of ideas and ideals, of cultures and civilizations. Like the waters of two rivers, they meet, share and imbibe from each other,” said Navdeep Suri, the High Commissioner of India in Australia.
In a special message Mr. Navdeep Suri said “The Festival was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his historic visit to Australia in November 2014. Working closely with India’s Ministry of Culture and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and in association with the Australia’s Department of Communications and the Arts, we have chosen some of the finest elements from the rich tapestry of Indian culture and civilization for our friends in Australia”.
“Over a twelve-week period, lovers of culture and entertainment in Adelaide, Alice Springs Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney will have the opportunity to savour an extraordinary range of performances. They will see the virtuosity of Nrityagram and Kalakshetra deemed as among the best dance companies in the world present the classical Odissi and Bharatanatyam dance forms; they will be mesmerized by the life–sized puppets by contemporary puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee in Transposition; they will sway to Raghu Dixit’s unique mix of world music; they will soak in the spell-binding words and music of Sonam Kalra’s Sufi Gospel Project; and they will join Bollywood flash mobs and dance workshops at some of Australia’s most iconic locations; and they will want more. And so we will offer a rib-tickling Indian take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, seasoned with an exhibition of political cartoons by India Today’s Ajit Ninan. He will converse with David Pope, Mark Knight, and other Aussie counterparts about the unusual hazards of political humour even as our more serious friends engage with renowned architect Bijoy Jain who will set up the MPavilion in Melbourne. Or reflect on Vibhor Soghani’s installation ‘Mahatma in Me’; or indeed attend the conference Yoga: Science of Infinite Possibilities which will juxtapose ancient Indian wisdom with the latest medical research” he continued.
“But can we have a conversation between India and Australia without even a passing reference to bat and ball? I think not! Cricket Connections is a multimedia narration of that unique thread that binds us like no other. From the Opera House in Sydney to Federation Square in Melbourne, from QPAC in Brisbane to the Festival Centre in Adelaide, from the Old Parliament in Canberra to the Concert Hall in Perth, the Festival of India will enthral audiences, foster collaborations between our artists and create cultural bonds like never before. It will also provide a boost to tourism and the art precincts in these cities.” Mr. Suri concluded.
A special festival support message was provided by Ms. Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India and by Shri Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture from India through a video link that night. Speaking to the Indian Telegraph, Mr. Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney said that the media’s role is important in promoting the festival in a multicultural Australia.
The biggest ever festival of India in Australia, Confluence will strengthen the cultural relations between the two countries like never before.
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Confluence – Festival of India website: www.confluencefoi.com