Arts and entertainment festival, which ran over Labour Day weekend 4-7 October, showcased events from various cultures
When news spread that Shah Rukh Khan was going to perform at Parramsala 2013, the crowds poured in from Melbourne, and several other parts of Australia. So, if ever SRK was in doubt about whether he still holds the title King of Bollywood, well, these crowds would have given him the answer.
When Shah Rukh performed on the last day of Parramasala, a large crowd of almost 11500 people gather in the Allphones Arena, where the Urban Agent Events presented Temptation Reloaded, a night full of dance, masti, music, fun, comedy and of course the King of Bollywood. SRK headlined a stellar line-up of singers, dancers and A-list Bollywood actresses including the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit, the bubbly Rani Mukherji and the lovely Jacueline Ferandez. There was also a performance by Yo Yo Honey Singh, which got the crowd to their feet.
Parramasala 2013, which ran over Labour Day weekend 4-7 October, showcased events from the boldly contemporary to the sublimely classical, music, theatre, dance, film screenings, workshops, and talks that inspired and entertained.
The city of Parramatta is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment scene from around the world and Parramasala captures this wealth and folds it into a unique cultural event.
This year, the Parramasala festival began with a spectacular parade from Town Hall to Prince Alfred Park. The Parramasala Opening Parade, replete with drummers, dragons and dancers, and camels, was a celebration of cultures and colour for the whole family.
The camel rides were a clear favourite — “It was a nice experience, I like the way camel walks,” squealed three-year-old Ekamjeet.
On the festival days, the Masala Markets, with its 40 outdoor stalls and authentic culinary meals, transformed Prince Alfred Park into a South Asian style bazaar, and the Chai temple offered visitors the perfect place to relax and enjoy the music and dance programs on the outdoor stage as well as the giant paint-by-numbers, and story reading sessions.
Three documentaries exploring spirituality, sexuality, family and tradition by award-winning Indian filmmakers Anjali Monterio and K P Jaayasanker were also screened at the festival.
Another Indian highlight was the Mallakhamb acrobatic performance from some incredible athletes from Mumbai, who travel around the world promoting the modern revival of this unique and traditional sport.
The documentary Fearless Nadia, with musical prodigy Ben Walsh at the helm, presented an exhilarating musical and cinematic celebration of silent-era film goddess, the Australian born Bollywood siren known as Fearless Nadia.
Her name says it all: Fearless Nadia (the name Perth-native Mary Evans adopted in her Bollywood avatar) was one of the brightest lights of the 1930s and 40s Mumbai cinema. A former circus performer, she came to dominate India’s silver screen with her roguish charm, beauty and swashbuckling, death defying stunts. The show combined scenes from Nadia’s 1940 adventure film Diamond Queen with an energetic score performed by Walsh and his Orchestra of the Underground (Australia/ India).
Overall, Parramasala 2013 was a great experience for the people who thronged in large numbers to the venue to be a part of the celebrations.
“For me, the highlight was the Mallakhamb acrobatic performance. It was an awesome jaw-dropping display of strength, agility and flexibility. It showcased the rich Indian culture as well, and served as an inspiration for the younger generations living and growing up in Australia,” said says Ramneek Singh, a visitor to the festival.