Dhol-tasha, band bhaaja Bharat

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Shivagarjana Sydney creates history as the first Indian group to participate in the national multicultural parade in Canberra

The annual National Multicultural Festival held in Canberra, ACT mid-February is one of the marquee occasions on the capital city’s event landscape. And for the first time in 20 years, an Indian group took part in this spectacular parade. Shivagarjana Sydney—Dhol, Tasha, Dwaj troupe was privileged to participate in the iconic celebrations this year, which witnessed more than 300,000 people flocking to the heart of the Canberra city.

At the event, Shivagarjana Sydney created a rhythmic atmosphere with its vibrant energy of dhol-tasha under the able leadership of Milind Dengale, coupled with a Barchi dance, choreographed by Kalashree Dance Academy, making Canberrans groove to its hypnotic beats.

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The troupe is a non-profit organisation, managed by volunteers, who are committed to preserve and spread this musical art form. The group comprises men, women and children with the common objective of promoting dhol-tasha. Round the year, several performances are organised at various Indian and multicultural programs at the request of organisers like Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, Hindu Council of Australia, Shree Shirdi Sai Sanathan and many more.

Shivagarjana Sydney has managed to nurture this unique and ancient musical art which has historic significance. The group is open to all, irrespective of gender and age and provides an exclusive platform for our younger generation to learn this folk art.

Starting in 2008 with just handful of dhols and few members, Shivagarjana continued to emerge and spread the dhol-tasha magic within Sydney. Over the years the popularity of the group has grown manifold.

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Today Shivagarjana Sydney is an established musical troupe and has performed at events of national repute like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welcome reception at Sydney Olympic Park.

Such mesmerising performances command hours of practice before the event. Each member strives to synchronise their beat with fellow drummers, and with the tasha players, while listening to the sharp whistle of the leader signalling a change in rhythm. The beats are coupled with dwaj (flag) dance and jhanj (cymbals) and together as a well-coordinated troupe, an impressive display is presented to the spectators.

Shivagarjana is particularly busy during the Ganeshotsav, with back to back performances, and it is thanks to them that Sydneykars get to enjoy the Ganesh festival as it is back home in India.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ShivagarjanaSydney

 

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