Leela Samson, Bobby Singh and Kween G at this year’s Parramasala

Parramasala 2017 starts this year on the Friday 10 March 2017 with the multicultural parade. The Parade shall commence at Town Hall Square Parramatta and culminate at the Prince Alfred Park.

This parade features many different migrant cultures and communities of Western Sydney. This year it includes, the Indigenous cultures, the NSW Police Band, elephants, camels and several floats, drummers, dancers, singers, acrobats and more.

The parade shall conclude in a dynamic and amazing Parade Finale.

This year the Finale shall showcase Traditional Indigenous artists,  select talented singers and dancers from varied cultures of Western Sydney in collaboration with the NSW Police Band, under the  curation and music direction of Sumathi Krishnan.

Parramasala 2017 is proud to present the following impressive line-up of musicians, artists, dancers, dramatists, choreographers and more this year.

Add to this mouth-watering cooking demonstrations by well-known Chef’s of Sydney, a collection of award winning movies in Cinema Thali, colourful markets and roving acts alongside the glorious Parramatta River Foreshore and Market Street, Parramasala 2017 is bigger than ever this year.

Ceramic artist Vipoo Srivilasa worked closely with Parramasala to create the Parramasala mascot ”˜KIKO’. Kiko will be lit from within and will glow at night. Kiko will stand tall no doubt will give all a photo opportunity.

Artist Vipoo Srivilasa works predominantly in ceramics, but also produces works on paper, mixed media sculptures and socially engaged art form. Living in between his two homes, Thailand and India, his work brings to life contemporary social life and ethical issues. Don’t miss an opportunity to attend his workshop with the creator of Kiko.

Coco Verma, known for his exhaustive experience working with internationally renowned, peers Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation and Nitin Sawhney, Coco’s band Earthtribe were at the forefront of the UK born and now globally recognised ”˜Asian Underground’ movement.  Coco has clocked up over 500 global performances from Hungary to Australia.

Burrangilli-Yilby otherwise known as Lex brings his whole brings the whole family down to learn about Indigenous culture through a range of fun and engaging activities. Why not try your hand at weaving, enjoy Indigenous storytelling and puppets, have a go at ochre tree painting or watch a traditional wood carving demonstration, along the River Foreshore.

Ilisavani Cava, of Fijian origin, is an Australian Voice also featured on The X Factor and The Voice. Sydney-based artist from Fiji who started singing at a very young age. In 2009, at the age of 16 he made history as the youngest winner to win Fijian Idol, declaring his position as one of the most talented musicians of the Pacific.

The Replicants, provide  a spectacular optical light performance using state of the art light equipment & technology.  With clever light costuming and a dynamic choreography,  The Replicants bring a real wow factor act, creating mesmerising visual displays.

L-FRESH, is a popular repeat at Parramasala. He is renowned for his powerful presence and inspiring live shows. L-FRESH is inspired by the soulful movement in US hip hop of the late 1990s / early 2000s, and the love and respect for his own cultural and ancestral roots of the Sikhs from Punjab, India.

Bobby Singh, one of Australia’s highest regarded musicians Tabla player Bobby Singh is a Disciple of the great maestro Pandit Aneesh Pradhan a phenomenal player, teacher and scholar. Bobby Singh presents internationally renowned Sitar and Vocal duo, Samanwaya and Debapriya, again this year across two mornings, in Morning Ragas starting 10:30am at the Festival.

Bangladeshi-Australian sound artist Shoeb Ahmad inspired by his own teenage experiences and the stories in a 60-minute sound work that uses a text narrative for three voices to guide the listener through a psycho-geographic trip of one’s sub-continental heritage, written for and manipulated from Indian electronic instruments, harmonium and percussion as well as field sounds recorded in southern India and Bangladesh. Presented in partnership with ICE (Information and Cultural Exchange)

Expect death defying circus, bizarre illusion, and kooky off-the-cuff comedy…and expect Duke Dreamer to light his bum on fire.

Suwitra Jaya, the first Australian gamelan ensemble to be given the honour of performing at the Bali International Arts Festival in Denpasar Festival;   Australian Academy of Parkour, Exercise & Self Defence (AAPES) junior staff roam around the Parramatta River Foreshore performing tricks and stunts; Urban Theatre Projects produces Artist Talk ”“ What Happens after Midnight under the Direction of Roslyn Oades;   Lucky Lartey African Drum and Dance brings together master musicians and dancers from all over West Africa to provide a unique and engaging performances that draw on many cultures and art forms.

A repeat performance again this year, Miriam Lieberman Trio seamlessly fuse the lilting harmonies of the kora ”“ a 21 string West African harp ”“ with classical strings and a western folk/pop sensibility. A beautiful, exotic journey from Sydney’s seascapes to the bustling streets of Mali and beyond.

Antakshari is a popular musical game show which is traditionally played by competing teams who sing much loved film songs and quiz about their knowledge of Bollywood films.  A lively fun filled bonanza played for the first time on the Parramasala stage. engaging local singing talents. Presented by  Kartik Mohandas Bupinder Mintu and Saba Zaidi Abdi  the show promises to engage and cater to the popular taste .    A lively fun filled bonanza played for the first time on the Parramasala stage. engaging local singing talents.

The Three Seas combine elements of Indian folk music with a western style of song form in a band full of engaging performers from India and Australia. Centre stage is the young master folk singer  Raju Das Baul. His amazing stage presence, arresting voice and virtuosic Khamak playing showcase the best of the Baultradition.

Deaoashish Mothey  brings his enigmatic style from the mountains in Darjeeling, while Kolkata based rock drummer,  Gaurab Chatterjee  (from the famous Bengali band Lakkhichhara), smoothly bridges musical cultures. From Australia on double bass,  Steve Elphick  and saxophonist  Matt Keegan  complete the unique sound of the band.

”˜Jal’ is the Hindi word for water, it is the essence of life, and the very core of a one-hour dance drama produced by Sydney-based Swastik Institute of Dance. Jal is created by India-born renowned Kathak and Bollywood choreographer Sumati Nagpal. Sumati creates a parched canvas on stage, populated with characters craving water. Through poignant moves and expressions, the ensemble conveys its desperation before they find water and perform the dance of celebration.

Mai Khoi and the Dissidents offer something you have never heard before. Mai Khoi & the Dissidents is a cathartic venting born out of creative protest, the defiant Hanoi-based experimental group is as bold sonically as they are politically. Weaving eastern woodwinds through western brass layered over dissonant guitar, with Mai Khoi’s voice instantly recognisable for its angelic qualities.

Capoeira Angola is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial art, music and dance. Capoeira Angola is listed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list for promoting worldwide mutual respect and social cohesion.

The history of Capoeira Angola started in the 16th century, at a time when Brazil was a colony of Portugal and the African slave labour force was largely utilised in Brazil, especially in the agricultural production of sugar in the North-East. Many of these slaves came from the region of Angola, also a Portuguese colony. In Africa, the Angolans had many dances (eg: the N’golo, the Bassula, the Cabangula and the Umudinhu) which mixed with each other in Brazil, this became the origin of Capoeira (the game of Angola), which transferred to urban zones and became Capoeira Angola, a martial art disguised as a dance. It was an important instrument of cultural and physical resistance for the Brazilian slaves.

Chenda is the traditional drum from the South Indian state of Kerala called the “Gods Own Country”.   ‘Chenda Melam’ is an essential part of any major temple festival in Kerala.

Worlds Collide’  invite audiences to move their bodies with music ranging from meditative drones and sacred African chants to full on dance beats with soaring vocals and hip hop rhymes, this performance is designed to take listeners on a journey into the NEW SOUND of multicultural Australia.

Soul Drummer provides African drumming performances to connect and inspire.  They are committed to sharing a passion for drumming, music and life with people. It is all about connecting individuals, creating community and celebrating life through rhythm.

Internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer, Leela Samson brings her company Spanda to Australia for the first time! Past Forward is a body of creative work by Leela Samson. It depicts an inward journey experienced through the individual body and the group collective.

Leela Samson is an internationally acclaimed dancer, teacher, writer and choreographer of bharata natyam ”“ a traditional dance form of India. She has been deeply influenced by the visionary Rukmini Devi Arundale, who founded Kalakshetra. Over many years of independent work, her dance has metamorphosed from the best of her alma mater into a unique personal expression, which is unostentatious, serene and joyful. A well loved and respected teacher internationally, she is the recipient of several honours from the Sanskiti and Kalaimamani to the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Padmashri awards.

Spanda, which means a vibration or pulse, symbolic of the perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe – was created in 1995 and represents works conceived and choreographed by Leela Samson. Constantly evolving, Spanda deliberates text, musical traditions and movement vocabulary that showcases the amazing art of bharata natyam. Through an exploration of group dynamics in bharata natyam, Spanda rediscovers learnt vocabulary, whilst retaining the geometry, the variety and grammar of this art form by reducing movement to its purest expression.

Past Forward is a body of creative work by Leela Samson. It depicts an inward journey experienced through the individual body and the group collective. From the external to the internal – it explores one’s search for the light and the truth. Past Forward seeks to establish a relevant dialogue, through the harmonisation of dance, music and stagecraft that represents the past, the present, and the future. Internationally acclaimed, Leela Samson and Spanda Dance Company present a lecture demonstration on Indian Classical Dance!

Radical Son’s music and stories are always guided by his Indigenous heritage from the Kamilaroi nation of Australia and the south pacific nation of Tonga; The Cedars of Lebanon Folkloric Group promotes multiculturalism by encouraging all to get involved in their performances. Members vary in age and backgrounds, which further enforces the cultural diversity present in Australia; Protitee’s 18-member choir will present folk songs of the well renowned poets, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul and Salil Chaudhury; The spectacularly masked band Prophets (SYD/MEL) are known for their unique approach to group improvisation, ”˜stylefree’ grooves and polyphonic sounds, featuring heaps of saxophones, drums, percussion, self-made instruments and DIY masks; Syrian composer and oud-player Adnan Baraké; draws on both middle-eastern and western influences in search of a unique musical voice.

Renowned for potent content, Kween G delivers dynamic style as an MC, performer and Hip Hop artist; An open workshop of rhythmic work by Maharshi Raval on Indian Dhol and Tabla; Chinese Wisteria dances and performances portray the diversity of cultural elements amongst the Chinese national minorities, revealing the delicacy as well as the rusticity of Chinese folk dances; Since 2000 The Sankha Ridma Dance Ensemble has performed professionally promoting the exotic traditional dances of Sri Lanka; Lucky African Drum and Dance brings together master musicians and dancers from all over West Africa to provide unique and engaging performances that draw on many cultures and art forms;  Five of Australia’s leading jazz and Indian musicians present KAPTURE,  a moving musical tribute to South African freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada (Nelson Mandela’s cell mate), as recorded on their acclaimed Rufus Records CD.

Musical duo, Manbir Singh (Vocalist) and Inderpreet Singh Minhas (Vocalist), bring you the Indian Classical traditions of the Kasur Patiala Gharana, a musical school founded by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. The young duo is currently under the tutelage of Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharyya who is based in Kolkata, India.

Kathak and flamenco are believed to have common origins which can be seen in the similarity in their technique and the percussive footwork.  Ruchi Sanghi Dance Company  and  Peña Flamenca  will present a collaboration between the two artforms.

Ramayana ”“ The Lord of the Ring is a unique new commissioned work for Parramasala 2017. This production is a Indian/Balinese cultural collaboration.   With a cast of 50 local and international artists, 20 Gammelan and South Indian Classical musicians; 30 Kecak, Bharathanatyam and Indonesian dancers, the production will be a visually colourful musical dance drama depicting the epic story common to both cultures in Ramayana”“ The Lord of the Ring.

Ross Daly, an Irish musician who lives in Crete, encompasses in his singular musical language all the musical traditions of the East – from India, through Persia to Turkey and Greece – and focuses on the Cretan lyra, an instrument that is a close relative of the kemence.

He leads a trio comprising fellow Cretan lyra player  Kelly Thomas  and Australian multi-instrumentalist  Paddy Montgomery. The three musicians forms an immediate intimacy, and each gesture sparks a supportive answer from the others. Daly’s playing resonates with many distant and ancient overtones, but all melts now into his unifying language.

The Western Sydney Migrant Story shall showcase the cultural dances, rhythms, music and costumes of people from all five continents of the world. Starting with a homage paid to the Indigenous Traditional Australians, the spell binding finale to the Festival pays tribute to the journey of people from varied parts of the world who now call the ”˜West’ their home.


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