Parramasala kicks off on November 8 with Bollywood style block party


Parramasala, Australian Festival of South Asian Arts opens this Thursday 8 November at 7pm with a spectacular free Bollywood-style block party featuring special guest MC Kamahl, international artists and hundreds of vibrant Bollywood-inspired dancers and adrenaline-charged drummers.

Singer Kamahl to entertain on the opening night of Parramsala on November 8

The festival, now in its third year, transforms the city of Parramatta over four full days into a feast of South Asian inspired culture with popular theatre, a wide choice of contemporary music, comedy, delicious cuisine, hawker market stalls, a South Asian film program and free outdoor entertainment from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 November, 2012.

The program features more than 90 free and ticketed events of highly acclaimed international and Australian artists, as well as many artists from Western Sydney ”“ all inspired by the cultural influences and artistic traditions of South Asia.

Highlight ticketed performances of the festival include:

Young sarod maestro Soumik Datta, with Austrian percussion virtuoso, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, in Circle of Sound, a spectacular combination of sarod, drumkit, synth bass, electronics and stunning visuals

Sarod Maestro Soumik Datta

World premiere concert, Maru Tarang (translated as Desert Ripples) featuring the great Australian blues guitarist Jeff Lang, award winning tabla player Bobby Singh and Rajasthani musicians Asin Khan and Bhugra Khan

Tabla player Bobby Singh with Blues Guitarist Jeff Lang

Acclaimed vocalist Susheela Raman and Band performing her wildly original songs and interpretations of music from her Tamil heritage

Vocalist Susheela Raman

Award-winning Tamasha Theatre Company from London in an exclusive season of the highly successful and very comic play The Trouble with Asian Men

Trouble with Asianmen

More comic theatre including New Zealand’s Indian Ink with Krishnan’s Dairy and Australian actor Ansuya Nathan performing her one-woman award winning comedy Long Live the King

Krishanan’s Dairy

South Asian Film in Focus is a program of eye-opening new independent cinema, curated by Ravi Kambhoj, showcasing an eclectic mix of features, documentaries and shorts from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.

The world premiere screening of Sunshine and Shade produced and directed by Ana Tiwary exploring the recent experiences of Indian students in Australia. It is followed by an expert panel discussion

One of the most famous and influential Indian artists of his generation, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and his ensemble will give one special concert on the final night of the festival

Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia

A cooking master class by Christine Manfield, one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs and author of Tasting India, featuring authentic recipes from her travels


Other highlights:

The free Outdoor Stage will come alive 12pm Thursday/Friday and 10am Saturday/Sunday until late in Town Hall Square with a free program of outstanding music, dance and visual delights, including Melbourne party band The Bombay Royale, Sydney’s premiere Sri Lankan dance and music group Sankha Ridma and multi-talented electronica group Tablatronics

Bombay Royale group

Pakistan’s reigning prince of qawwali music, Asif Ali Khan and his nine member ensemble direct from Lahore in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Qawwali singer Asif Ali Khan and troupe

Closing night sees a screening of the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay on the Outdoor Stage; one of India’s most famous and successful Bollywood action films from the 1970s

Sholay movies screens on open stage on the closing night on November 11

Savour a smorgasbord of culinary and cultural delights at the Masala Markets with over 30 stalls of South Asian inspired cuisine, fashion, spices, fabrics, arts, crafts and refreshments

The new Festival Bar in the centre of Town Hall Square and open late each night, is the place to meet before, after and anywhere in between

Australia’s internationally famous masters of digital projection, The Electric Canvas, illuminate the façade of Parramatta Town Hall with stunning moving projections each evening


The festival is presented in two key precincts in the heart of Parramatta; Town Hall Square in Church Street Mall and in and around the Riverside Theatres.


Tickets are on sale now, for more information visit


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