Young Indian talent curates a theatrical production with a mission to increase diversity in the media
Vibrant Indian cultures take centre stage with a theatrical production directed and created by twenty-year-old, Divya Saxena. This four-part production celebrates the diverse cultures and different dance styles from across India, incorporating the work of 25 dancers, and a team comprising of 11 members.
The Culturally Linguistic and Diverse Community is ever-growing and constantly evolving. Traditional customs are being modernised and the younger generation are finding ways to represent their mixed identity in a digital space.
Cumberland Council in association with Cumberland Community Radio saw this as an opportunity to provide a platform to the younger Indian Australian community. The open brief to ‘celebrate the Hindu culture’ was an unrestricted method to develop the content and choreography authentically.
The brief since then, transformed into a deeper, more meaningful message to increase diversity and authentic Indian representation in the media. Essentially, it is a way to empower Indian Australians and a method to educate the nation of the richness of the Indian culture.
‘The theme was chosen to show the wider Australian community that there is so much more to Indian dancing than the stereotypical head bobbing, and the choreographed routine the dancers break out into in Slumdog Millionaire,’ Divya said.
‘On the other hand, there are so many amazing projects coming out of my community but more often than not, we keep it to ourselves. The digital dance series is a way to reach out to all Indian Australians and encourage them to break out of the status quo,’ she continued.
The four-part series will be distributed to a wider audience through social media and digital platforms with the assistance of Instagram influencers.
About Rowi Singh
Rowi Singh, is a proclaimed Indian-Australian beauty influencer with a fan base of 129,000 followers. She’s got a knack for fusing her eccentric style with her Punjabi Indian heritage, and engages, empowers and encourages women of colour to embrace diversity in culture and style.
“When it comes to diversity in Australian media, we’ve merely scratched the surface. We are still very much running the representation race; to be seen in media not as a ‘tick box exercise’ for these brands and publications, but to be recognised for our authentic skills. To be valued and seen as equal,” Singh said.
About Shyamla, Artistic Director and Founder of Bindi Bosses
Previously commended by Indian Actress, Sonam Kapoor, Bindi Bosses provides a platform for South Asian artists to collaborate and share stories of mixed cultural upbringing and heritage through fusion dance.
“Increasing diversity and multiculturalism in media and performing arts is important because many immigrants with South Asian heritage teach their children the arts are a hobby and not a viable, valued or respectable profession. Beyond representation, diverse inclusion in both the media and performing arts is a visual argument to the world that we exist and that our stories and lives matter as people of colour,” Shyamla said.