SKGA’s December festival packed the razzle of African drums and the dazzle of Bollywood into a weeklong celebration of art and culture
Spirited dances, punchy drum beats, an eclectic mix of film workshops and screenings, Sangam Kala Group Australia’s (SKGA Inc) Sawan Spring Festival 2016 in December was a very special show.
SKGA is an organisation that promotes and hones Indian arts and culture in Australia by embracing multiculturalism and diverse art forms.
Under the leadership of festival director Nawal Moudgil, the festival officially kicked off 4 December at RMIT University with a medley of Bollywood songs and dances, and a few film workshops, screenings and conferences.
On 11 December, the closing day of the festival, School of Indian Music & Dance Australia delivered a very special show with energetic, audience-pleasing performances and community workshops in yoga, music, dance, health and weight loss. It was a brilliant and colourful reflection of spiritual and cross-cultural presentations from the Indian, African, Afghan, Chinese, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi communities.
The evening began with an inaugural candle-lighting by Multicultural Shadow Minister MP Inga Pulich, Monash Cr MT Pang Tsoi, Indian Consulate Hari Prasad, VMC Commissioner Chidambaram Srinivasan and others.
Vocalist duo Arvind and Sunila Shrivastava began the evening with a ‘Ganesh Vandana’, followed by Kunal Sachdeva’s mesmerising solo rendition of ‘TukurTukur’. Kunal made another appearance during the evening, teaming up with Nawal and Madhubanti for ‘Suno Gaur se Duniya Waalo’.
Child prodigy Mayuri Guhadas enthralled the audience with her sweet rendition of ‘Surmaiyaee Aankhone Mein’ and Michael Grozadanovic showcased his amazing talent on the piano. Talented vocalists, Balu Rao, Birpaul Dhillon and the father-son duo of KJ Jeemon and Jeeson, as well as dancers Sridevi Anoop, and Annika Changkakaoti ensured that it was an evening to be applauded.
It was a real fusion of cultures when Dev Chopra rendered ‘Teri Meri’ on the keyboard accompanied by Asif (Rabab) and Nasim (Tabla) for the Afghan instrumentals.
The Bollywood workout performance by Babushka Ferenczi from Jalwa Dance Company had the leaping to their feet, grooving to the music and engaging in a bout of cardio. Dr Hiremath of Herbalife then delivered an eye-opening presentation on how a few changes can lead to a healthier happier life.
Mohammed and Anna’s masterful African drumming and Babushka’s belly dancing electrified the atmosphere as did the breezy charm of the Desi Stepperz and Laks Dance Group who presented Bollywood dance with aplomb.
Up next are SKGA’s Spirit & Harmony Music Festival in March and Satrangi Film Festival in May.