Aiming to deepen its cultural ties with India, Australia has announced a grant of 250,000 Australian dollars ($1,87,215 or Rs 1,25,91,144) for supporting the ‘Confluence Festival of India’, the first of its kind and the biggest such event ever to be held in the country.
The 10-week-long festival will be held across seven cities - Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Brisbane from August this year.
According to an official statement, the Turnbull Coalition Government announced 2,50,000 Australian dollars to support the festival which would showcase diverse range of India’s arts and culture from classical to contemporary and visual arts.
It also includes a number of community activities and collaborations with local artists.
“This cultural celebration will extend and deepen the longstanding relationship between Australia and India by giving Australian audiences the opportunity to experience a programme including exhibitions, theatre, dance and music,” Minister of Communications and Arts Mitch Fifield said.
“The Festival of India in Australia initiative was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 and is a key deliverable of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture between the two sides,” the statement said.
Indian high commissioner Navdeep Suri led the national media launch of the festival in presence of Maritime Museum CEO and Director, Kevin Sumption and other dignitories in Sydney yesterday.
The key component of the festival would be the collaboration with Australian artists, such as a joint performance by Indian spiritual music group Sonam Kalra, The Sufi Gospel Project and Australian musician Ashlee Clement along with a didgeridoo player.
Renowned Indian cartoonist Ajit Ninan will also be a part of this festival where he will discuss political humour with counterparts like David Pope and Mark Knight.
A theatre performed through life-sized puppets, an Indian take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, an exhibition on the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, a musician who blends rock with Indian folk and a 5000 strong Bollywood flash mob on the Opera House forecourt, will form the part of the largest Indian festival here.
“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 State Theatre in Perth, the Festival of India will enthrall audiences, foster collaborations between our artists and create cultural bonds like never before,” Suri had said earlier this month.
“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,” he had said.
A new website which will provide highlights and detailed information on the festival has also been launched recently.