By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 28 February 2021: It started with Drum Theatre, moved to Harmony Square, and then culminated at the Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre. An interactive cultural experience in Dandenong it was. A well-crafted presentation at the Drum Theatre – a combination tale of music, words, and dance started the exceptional experience, and then people walked to Harmony Square across the road, to be treated with dances and interactive dance-yoga and Bollywood dancing. Every step of yoga and later the musical Bollywood movements were good exercises and entertainment blended with the ambiance of an open sky.
From Harmony Square, a short walk to the beautiful space behind the Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre saw beautiful classical dances with tea and samosa. Passerby’s probably wondered at the mesmerizing flow of music accompanying the dances. The three-stop walking cultural experience was a good effort to integrate South Asian performing arts with audience participation.
With support from the Victorian Government and Co-produced by Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV), the 2021 Sangam Festival is supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, City of Melbourne, City of Greater Dandenong, and Yarra City Council. Venue partners are Abbotsford Convent, The Drum Theatre, Dancehouse, and Bunjil Place are guided by Blakdance and supported by Ausdance Victoria, Peril Magazine, and SouthAsian Today.
Sangam is a platform for established and emerging South Asian-Australian artists to learn, create and showcase their art alongside globally renowned artists from the South Asian Diaspora. It’s based in Naarm/ Melbourne.
The Sangam team has Dr. Priya Srinivasan, performer/choreographer/writer who lives and works in the lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people in Narrm/Melbourne combining theory and practice to work towards social justice issues through art, Hari Srinivasan, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Uthra Vijay, Artistic Director of Keerthana School of Music, Sunanda – Dada Desi Co-curator, Priya Pavri – Producer, Varsha Ramesh – Producer, Shweta Kawatra – Marketing and Communications Advisor, Shweta Kawatra – Marketing and Communications Advisor and Ruiqi Fu – Media Coordinator.
In fact, there is much more coming up in the festival. Check – www.sangam.com.au