India’s Cultural Diversity in a Journey Across Seven Australian Cities (September 23 – October 29, 2017)

Confluence: A Festival of India in Australia is a recognition and celebration of India and Australia’s rapidly advancing bilateral relationship. It represents a meeting point, one that sees the convergence of ideas, arts, cultures, and civilizations. The festival is focused on highlighting this incredible tie through artistic demonstration, and the convergence of Indian and Australian artistry in a way that has never been seen before, one which provides attendees with truly unforgettable experiences. The transnational significance of the festival was praised by both Prime Ministers. The festival is supported by the High Commission of India, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Department of Communications and the Arts.

The regional destination of Bundaberg saw more than 150 members of the community come together to collaborate in a public Bollywood Workshop, headed by Shiamak and the Australian Bollywood School. Both Perth and Bundaberg have enjoyed the electrifying and genre-defying Kutle Khan Project, who came to Moncrieff Entertainment Centre and Heath Ledger Theatre to demonstrate their unique concoction of Western sounds and traditional Rajasthani Folk. Most recently, more than 250 Sydney residents made their way to the Australian National Maritime Museum to witness internationally acclaimed Indian violinist and composer Dr. L. Subramaniam perform alongside revered Indian playback singer and wife, Kavita Krishnamurthy. Followers and fans of the festival can rest assured that there will be many more performances taking place across Australia as part of this year’s Confluence, with some key highlights and information below.

Images of Truth – Ishara Puppet Theatre TrustCommissioned by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in 1993, Ishara’s Images of Truth breaks the boundaries of conventional puppetry and has inspired generations of puppeteers. Choreographed to music from across the world, it’s a mesmerizing, non-verbal, musical adaption of one of the mankind’s most iconic figures – Mahatma Gandhi. Established by one of India’s most foremost and innovative puppeteers, Dadi D. Pudumjee, The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust is one of the world’s leading platforms for innovative puppet theatre. Using innovation and uniquely conceived puppetry, Ishara uses their artform to not only entertain but also address a range of important social issues.

The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust will be performing at Griffith University’s Nathan Campus on Thursday 26 October, The Gallery of Modern Arts in Southbank on Saturday 28 October, and at Roma Street Parklands on Sunday 29 October in collaboration with the Power of Peace Festival.

  • 6:30 PM Thursday 26 October, Multi-Faith Centre (Building N35), Griffith University Nathan Campus, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan, Queensland
  • 4:30 PM Saturday 28 October, Gallery of Modern Arts, Southbank, Brisbane
  • 1:30 PM Sunday 29 October, Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane

Dr. L. Subramaniam feat Kavita Krishnamurthy

Dr. L. Subramaniam is an acclaimed Indian violinist, composer, and conductor, trained in the classical Carnatic music tradition as well as Western Classical music. He is renowned for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion. Accompanying him will be Kavita Krishnamurthywife of Dr. L. Subramaniam and esteemed Indian playback singer. Trained in classical music, she has performed in an extensive array of Film and Theatrical pieces and is the recipient of four Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Awards. Residents of Melbourne will be able to witness this revered duo live in concert at Monash University’s Music Auditorium, whilst fans in Perth will be able to attend their performance at Perth Concert Hall. 

  • 8:30 PM Thursday 5 October, Music Auditorium, Monash University, Clayton Campus
  • 7:00 PM Sunday 8 October, Perth Concert Hall

Ansh – Nrityagram Dance Ensemble

Globally acclaimed for her skill as an Odissi dancer and teacher, Bijayini is one of the most recognizable names in world dance today. She has performed solo and alongside the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble at venues and events across the world and has been subject to international praise. In 2011 Bijayini was conferred the prestigious Nritya Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai. For over two decades, Bijayini has worked with Surupa Sen to research and expand the dance vocabulary of Odissi dance and together they have developed a style that distinguishes the dancers of the Nrityagram School.
The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is regarded as one of India’s foremost dance institutions. The ensemble has performed at the major events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at a multitude of venues across the world. Nrityagram is most widely renowned for their Odissi form of dance, a traditional Indian method of movement that is characterised by sensuousness and lyricism that depicts the love between humanity and the divine. Despite their appreciation of this form, the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble play an influential role in carrying Indian dance into the 21st century through their innovative adaptations that appeal to contemporary audiences. Nrityagram will be performing at Monash University’s Clayton Campus on Sunday 8 October and at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia on Tuesday 10 October.

  • 3:00 PM Sunday 8 October, Drama Theatre, Monash University, Clayton Campus
  • 7:00 PM Tuesday 10 October, Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia

The Kutle Khan Project 

An internationally renowned Folk group hailing from India, The Kutle Khan Project have been creating waves internationally by seamlessly blending Eastern and Western-inspired sounds in ways that cannot be replicated. Embodying the rich, melodious, and rhythmic traditions of India and reinvigorating them with a contemporary twist, The Kutle Khan Project is a truly unique experience that will not soon be forgotten.

The Kutle Khan Project is a six-piece collective featuring frontman, Kutle Khan, as lead singer and Artistic Director. Accompanying him is Champe Khan on the Harmonium and Vocal Sarangi, Dayam Khan on the Kartal, Gafur Khan on the Bhapang and Morchang, Roshan Khan with the Tabla and Dholak, and Lasmi Sapera as a Sufi Dancer. Having performed in more than 53 countries, The Kutle Khan Project bring with them an enigmatic stage presence and musical synergy that can only be attained through years of experience.
The Kutle Khan Project can be seen performing multiple times at India Fest on Saturday 7 October at Riverway, Townsville, at Queen Street Mall Stage on Thursday 12 October, and at the fourth annual India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA) at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 13 October.  IABCA is currently the only platform to acknowledge Australians in India and Indians in Australia, the platform works to enhance foreign investment, trade, and cultural interchange between the two nations. Through an awards ceremony, IABCA establishes stronger connections between the two countries by highlighting outstanding contributions in the Australia – India space and encouraging further work in this area. The evening will feature keynote addresses from His. Excellency, Dr. A.M Gondane, High Commissioner of India in Australia and Her Excellency, Ms. Harinder Sidhu, High Commissioner of Australia in India.

  • 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Multiple Performances Throughout the Day), Saturday 7 October, India Fest, Riverway, Village Boulevard
  • 12:00 PM, 1:00PM & 2:00PM, Thursday 12 October, Queen Street Mall Stage, Brisbane
  • 6.30 PM Friday 13 October, Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane
  • 7:00 PM Sunday 15 October, Canberra Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre

In collaboration with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Confluence will be delivering a convenient and streamlined program featuring the very best that Indian Cinema has to offer. Featuring a number of must-see films for any movie buff of lovers of culture, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Film Screening promises to be a highly memorable experience for those in attendance.

Film Screening at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards

  • 6:00 PM Saturday 14 October, A Death in the Gunj, New Farm Six Cinemas, Brisbane
  • 9:00 PM Saturday 14 October, Lipstick Under My Burka,  New Farm Six Cinemas, Brisbane
  • 2:00 PM Sunday 15 October, Machines, New Farm Six Cinemas, Brisbane
  • 4:00 PM Sunday 15 October, The River, New Farm Six Cinemas, Brisbane

The screening will begin on Saturday, October 14 with Indian drama and coming of age story, A Death in the Gunj. This film details the experiences of shy student Shymal Chatterjee as his trip to the old Anglo-Indian town of McCluskiegunj in an attempt to escape from his failed semester spirals out of control. This will be followed immediately by the groundbreaking and discussion-inspiring film, Lipstick Under My Burka, which details the lives of four women struggling to balance their identities with the cultural customs of their homeland. Sunday, October 15 will also feature two films, beginning with the eye-opening documentary, Machines, which follows the daily experiences of workers in an Indian textile factory, revealing its beauty as well as it’s shameful working conditions. Finally, the Film Screening will close with the undisputed humanistic classic, The River, which depicts the lives of three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, who learn their lesson after falling in love with an American soldier.

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