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‘Confluence: Festival of India’: India and Australia come together for First of its kind Indian music and dance festival in Sydney

The 12-week long event kick started in the iconic Sydney Opera House on September 18 as the Indian and Australian artists came together to perform

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Sydney, Sept 20, 2016: The First of its kind Indian music and dance festival ‘Confluence: Festival of India’, is an initiative of Government of India and is supported by its Australian counterpart. The 12-week long event kick started in the iconic Sydney Opera House on September 18 as the Indian and Australian artists came together to perform.

The inaugural concert took place with performances by drummers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Odissi, Kathak, and Bharatanatyam dancers, reported PTI. Among many others, Australian aboriginal dancers too performed in the two-hour-long event on September 18 where they shared the stage with the Pung Cholom dancers from Manipur in India.

It wasn’t all easy. For the Pung Cholom dancer, Ngangbam Sunil Singh, the challenge was to adapt to a very different kind of form.

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Several shows by Indian artists- The Kalakshetra Foundation, Sonam Kalra and the Sufi Gospel Project, the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, the Raghu Dixit Project, will tour seven Australian cities as part of the cultural show.

“We had two days to figure out how to blend our form with the aboriginal dancers. Both our groups have very different rhythms. So it was a challenge, but we took some parts of their dance and some of ours and combined them,” said Mr. Singh to PTI.

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Binkin Ngugi, who played the didgeridoo with the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers group, said, though it was the first time that they collaborated with Indian folk and classical artists, it came naturally. “There are some similarities in the music and in the meaning of songs,” he added.

The manager of the aboriginal dance group, Eddie Ruskin, added that indigenous Australians and Indians shared a mutual respect for each other’s cultures. “For instance, we have a common respect for our elders,” he said.

While the festival, which is touring seven Australian cities, began last month, the gala at the Opera House was the showcase for both Indian and Australian authorities.

Union Culture Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma, who attended the show, said at a reception earlier in the evening that it was a “proud moment for both India and Australia” that the Festival of India, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2014, had been successful.

“It’s high time that we celebrate India and Australia’s relations in a big way,” said Dr. Sharma, before adding that Indians should be “proud to have a Prime Minister like Mr. Modi”.

At the Opera House, the audience was in a celebratory mood, with people singing along to the Raghu Dixit Project, which closed the show.

Indian High Commissioner to Australia Navdeep Suri said to The Hindu that the main aim of the festival was to attract the mainstream arts-loving community, not just the Indian diaspora.

“We looked for premium venues like the Sydney Opera House to showcase premium acts. The festival has had a very successful week,” he said.

-prepared by Arya Sharan of NewsGram from various agencies. Twitter: @NoOffense9

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  • Antara

    Feels amazing to see Indian culture getting promoted and celebrated worldwide!

  • Manthra koliyer

    This will help in getting the world together and making it a better place.

Next Story

Korean and Indian Artists Perform a Musical Folk Tale With a Strong Message in Schools of Delhi

The folktale presented was “Heungbu, Nolbu” which is a popular folktale of South Korea

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folk tale
Traditional Korean costumes were used to depict a true picture of the folk tale. (representative image) Wikimedia
  • A folktale accompanied by music was presented in schools of Delhi-NCR region
  • The folktale presented was “Heungbu, Nolbu” which is a popular folktale of South Korea
  • For this show, the troupe comprising of Indo-Korean children was specifically chosen and trained

New Delhi, August 29, 2017: A folk tale accompanied by music was presented in schools of Delhi-NCR region by a troupe incorporating Korean and Indian teenager artists along with the help of Korean Cultural Centre India.

The folk tale presented was “Heungbu, Nolbu” which is a popular folk tale of South Korea. It was performed by twelve Korean artists of group “Theatre Seoul” of South Korea and two Indian artists. The show was put in each school for a duration of an hour and helped the students learn the importance of ethics and truth and values of life. The staging of this show was carried out in Father Agnel School in New Delhi (1600 students) and Noida (800 students), American Embassy School in Delhi and Apeejay School in Noida (1600 students).

For this show, the troupe comprising of Indo-Korean children was specifically chosen and trained. The event filled with music and culture portrayed the tale of two brothers with contradictory natures. Recently, it was debuted in Korea, where it won many hearts.

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Natia Lee, the Artistic Director and Kevin Kim, the Director managed to paint Korea on the stage using splendid traditional Korean costumes, musical instruments, and Korea’s perfection. Two Indian performers played significant roles in the tale to emphasize the bond of brotherhood between Korea and India and collaboration of these two countries for this production.

The message delivered was of forgiveness and moving ahead in life in spite of the differences which the students enjoyed thoroughly.

The Director of KCCI, Kim Kum-Pyoung said that it is easy to fight but what is difficult is achieving a win-win situation which needs hard work and efforts. There is a need for children to develop and learn the skill of peacemaking from their childhood because it’ll help them build the nations.

Father J.A. Carvalo, Fr Agnel School’s Principal, not only praised the hard work, choreography, and performance of the artist, but he appreciated the message delivered above all. Both the nations, Korea and India, have a similar culture which has faith in harmony.

The principal of Apeejay School in Noida, S. C. Tiwari, said that the story of the folk tale was the most important thing about it, which displayed that India and Korea share similar values.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


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