Parramasala 2017 program announced

Parramasala 2017: Friday 10 March ”“ Sunday 12 March 2017

Prince Alfred Square     ●       Parramatta River foreshore     ●       Riverside Theatres

The full program for Parramasala 2017 has been released today, with more than 80 cultures represented in live performances at one of the biggest celebrations of cultural diversity in NSW.

Parramasala will take place Friday 10 March, Saturday 11 March and Sunday 12 March in Parramatta.   The festival will be held in Prince Alfred Square, along the Parramatta River foreshore and in the Riverside Theatres.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the free festival which brings to life the cultures of Asia and beyond through food, music, film, dance, art and more.

This year, the festival has expanded onto the riverbank with more family friendly activities and a large outdoor screen showing short films and a second performance stage has also been added to Prince Alfred Square. The Riverside Theatres will again host an Asian film festival and a new Parramasala Pantry in the courtyard will host live cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs such as Ajoy Joshi and Furqan Lodhi.

Parramasala Festival Director Di Henry said the 2017 event was larger than previous festivals.

“We’ve filled Prince Alfred Square with a lot more activities and will be running music and dance performances on two stages as the live performances are the most popular part of Parramasala,” said Ms Henry.

“A new area has been added to the precinct, with The Riverbank at Parramasala presented by Lennox hosting more entertainment and a relaxing atmosphere by the water.

“We’re also exploring technology and art – you can fly a drone, there’s a light installation, a sound installation and interactive workshops where you can create ceramics with the artist who created Kiko the Parramasala mascot or make your own headdress with artists from the Adorned video installation.

“Parramasala is still an Asian arts festival at its heart, but we’re also a broad church which welcomes and explores many cultures, all of which make Sydney and western Sydney in particular a rich mix of diversity to be celebrated.”

Parramasala 2017 program highlights include:

  • Traditional Opening Night Street Parade along Church Street Parramatta – watch the colourful, musical parade and follow the fun to Prince Alfred Square where Western Sydney’s own L-FRESH The LION will kick off the weekend with his trademark soulful, hip hop beats.
  • Some of Sydney’s best chefs will share their tips with cooking demonstrations in the courtyard of Riverside Theatres:

–           Ajoy Joshi (Nilgiri’s and Tellicherry ”“ Southern Indian)

–           Dharmesh Rangparia (Chatkazz – Indian Street Food)

–           Enzo Guarino (Casa e Cucina – Italian)

–           Furqan Lodhi (Pakistani)

–           Jammin’ Jerk (Jamaican)

–           Nikki Spehar (Croatian ”“ My Kitchen Rules contestant)

–           Tiffany Jones (Pastry specialist)

–           Tommy Prosser

–           Vincenzo Prosperi (Vincenzo’s Plate)

  • Prince Alfred Square and the river foreshore come alive Saturday and Sunday with more than 80 live performances by singers, dancers and musicians representing cultures and countries including:

–           Punjab

–           India

–           China

–           Bali

–           West Africa

–           Mongolia

–           Cook Islands

–           Vietnam

–           Brazil

–           Ethiopia

–           Pakistan

–           Lebanon

–           Syria

–           Uganda

–           Sri Lanka

–           Fiji

–           Samoa

  • Sydney-based Fijian artist Ilisavani Cava shares his original music on Friday night, with songs in both English and his native Fijian language.
  • Vietnam’s Mai Khoi & The Dissidents perform on Saturday and Sunday, bringing their mix of eastern woodwinds, western brass and dissonant guitar together with singer Mai Khoi’s angelic voice.
  • Australia’s own Ethio-Soul superstar, Dereb The Ambassador, takes to the stage on Saturday night with his big sound band of virtuoso musicians to deliver rhythms and melodies to get you moving.
  • Between cooking demonstrations in the Parramasala Pantry, enjoy intimate musical performances from artists such as Bukhu, a contemporary take on the tradition of Mongolian bards. Bukhu weaves verses, folk traditions and contemporary influences into musical arrangements.
  • Radical Son crosses genres from soul to hip-hop and beyond, guided by his Indigenous and Tongan heritage. Saturday night he brings his soul and rap to the stage in Prince Alfred Square.
  • From India, international acclaimed dancer Leela Samson and Spanda Dance Company present Past Forward. Be entranced by this Bharatanatyam dance performance which explores the inward journey of the soul, experienced through the body of the individual and the group collective.  From the external to the internal – exploring one’s search for the light and the truth. The journey leads to a celebration of music and movement, which causes the individual soul to unite with the Brahman. Riverside Theatres ”“ book now via
  • Presented in partnership with I.C.E (Information and Culture Exchange), IM/MODESTY is a sound installation by Shoeb Ahmad. Inspired by his own teenage experiences and the stories of others with a similar background, Bangladeshi-Australian sound artist Shoeb Ahmad explores the blooming of one’s inner sexuality, meditations on intimacy and exploration of personal relationships. “Im/modesty” is 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.
  • The Adorned video installation by Liam Benson and Parramatta Artists’ Studios features 10 artists showcasing performances and handmade wearables from their cultures.   At the Adorned workshop you can meet the artists and make your own celebration headdress with colourful and textured materials.
  • Meet the Parramasala mascot, Kiko, an 8m tall inflatable symbol of cultural diversity and unity. Like a giant porcelain doll, Kiko features beautiful blue and white designs and is a great background for a Parramasala ”˜selfie’ with friends. Plus you can meet Kiko’s creator, artist Vipoo Srivilasa, and try your hand at making ceramics.
  • Relax at The Riverbank at Parramasala presented by Lennox with roaming performers, short films on an outdoor screen and Indigenous storytelling with Uncle Lex.
  • Take in a free film or two at the Cinema Thali Film Festival in Riverside Theatres ”“ films include
  • A Yellow Bird -Singapore
  • Vatsalyam: South Asian Expressions of Parenting Love – Australia
  • Ottaal – India
  • Parched – India
  • Check out the technology area where you can learn to fly a drone and test yourself racing against other drones.
  • Visit the Women’s AFL area to practice your football skills and meet players.
  • Roam the market stalls for global crafts, clothes, jewellery, henna treatments and more.
  • There’s fun for all the family including the kids with a super-slide, ferris wheel, bungy jump, cup and saucer ride and camels to meet.
  • Grab a plate from the wide range of food stalls in Spice Alley:

–           Knafeh

–           Freshly Squeezed Sugar Cane Juice

–           Sticky Ribs

–           Goat, Chicken and Paneer Masala

–           Indian Street Style Burgers

–           Tandoor Chicken, Vegetable Curry, Samosa

–           Nepalese Cuisine

–           Indian Sweets

–           Pakistani

–           Korean BBQ

–           German Gourmet Hot Dogs

–           Samosa Chat, Papdi Chat

–           Gozleme

–           Greek Street Food

–           Gourmet Burgers

–           Seafood

–           Organic Foods

–           Vietnamese

–           Italian

–           Gourmet Pizza

–           Chicken Wings

–           Yum Cha

–           Filippino

–           Koi Dessert Bar

–           Brown Brothers Wine

–           Savannah Estate Wines

–           Beers & Ciders

  • Two additional events coming under the umbrella of Parramasala 2017 are:

The Parramatta Language Festival presented by the Language Festival Association

Date/Time: Saturday 11 March, 12pm – 4.30pm

Venue:   ICE (Information & Cultural Exchange), 8 Victoria Road, Parramatta

The purpose of this festival is to show the great linguistic diversity of languages in existence and celebrate language. Gain a greater insight into the languages on display to realise all languages are equally important in the eyes of their native speakers. Each language at the festival will be presented in thirty minute segments, covering both their linguistic and cultural aspects. The languages presented include Tamil, Japanese, Korean, Esperanto, Russian, Urdu, Hindi, German and more.

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– Nautanki Theatre Panel Discussion on South Asian Diaspora – Perception and Reality.

Writers, academics and social workers will discuss the topic – South Asian Diaspora – Perception and Reality.

Date/Time: Saturday 11 March, 5.30 pm

Venue: ICE (Information & Cultural Exchange), 8 Victoria Road, Parramatta

Panellists:   Manisha Amin ”“ CE, Media Access Australia and Writer; Indu Balachandran ”“ GM, National Centre for Ingenious Excellence; Aila Khan ”“ Academic/Social Worker; Roanna Gonsalves – Writer /Academic; Conductor – Kumud Merani, SBS Hindi

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