Multicultural tribute to film-maker Yash Chopra

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What better way to pay tribute to one of Bollywood’s greatest directors than a day-long multicultural creative and performing arts festival.

And on 21 September, Clayton Town Hall in Melbourne came alive in a cultural extravaganza, thanks to Sangam Kala Group Australia (SKGA), and its Satrangi festival director Nawal Moudgil.

Since the Satrangi festival was organised as a tribute to its patron, Bollywood legendary filmmaker the late Yash Raj Chopra, who died in 2012, actor Vikram Kumar called on the 650-member audience to stand in silence for 30 seconds in memory of the film-maker.

Bhawna welcomed the guests, the spiritual lamp was lit and multicultural commissioner of Victoria Mr Chidambaram Srinivasan declared the event open. He extended his homage to Dr Chopra by recalling his phenomenal work spanning over 50 years.

The Honourable Deputy Mayor of Monash Council Steve Dimopoulos graced the event with his presence. Other dignitaries who attended included Jasvinder Sidhu along with Hong Lim, State Member of Parliament for Clayton, Clare O’Neil, Federal Member of Parliament, and Jennifer Yang, former Mayor of Manningham Council.

Around 16 short feature films by producers and directors from India and Australia were screened during the program, impeccably presented by multicultural director Faezah Parkes.

A rich blend of performances by Saraswati & Ganesh Vandana, a brilliant bharatanatyam performance, a spirited African pop number, some acrobatic Kalari, energetic Bollywood dances, and soulful Afghan music made the evening most eventful and steeped in cultures so diverse yet united.

Vijay Kumaran, Nawal Moudgil, Richelle and Matt from IRIS, and Anoop Divakaran with his groupadded the musical flavours from different cultures also entertained the audience. Other key performances included Pakistani stand-up comedy and Punjabi dances.

The multicultural shades of the event were represented as 23 models presented the fashion parade.SIMDA students brilliantly sang ragas and children songs. The program was beautifully presented by Aviti, Sonia, Arpita, Roshini & Vikram (MC’s), and efficiently co-ordinated by Jaya Menon along with multimedia head Aparna Ipe.

The ceremony was clearly a brilliant platform for local talent to present a spectacular evening.

After the immense success of Satrangi Australian Festival 2014, the event is expected to be back next year with more entertainment.

Published in The Indian Sun (Covering Indian newspaper covering music and arts in Melbourne)

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