PA/17/18 18th October 2018
Australia Fest supports cultural exchange between Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Baigas in Bhopal
Complementing their multi-city tour of India as part of Australia Fest, Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre, will travel to Indigenous communities across India to undertake a series of community engagement opportunities.
The first stop in a series of such activities is Bhopal where Bangarra will collaborate with the Baiga - a forest-dwelling Indigenous community of central India from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu said, “I am delighted that we are able to bring Bangarra to Bhopal as part of Australia Fest.”
“The community engagement opportunities between Bangarra and the Indigenous groups in India will not only help inspire the next generation of performers and storytellers, but also promote meaningful cultural exchange,” she added.
“We’re proud to share the resilience and strength of Australia’s First Nation people with other Indigenous communities and groups, and are looking forward to exploring cultural exchange in these remote regions and continuing our tradition in sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture globally,” said Bangarra’s Executive Director Philippe Magid.
In Bhopal, the collaborative workshops will take place at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (National Museum of Humankind).
Professor Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Director, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, said “The community outreach workshop as a part of Australia Fest in India involving Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Baiga, a particularly vulnerable tribal group of India, will explore potential opportunities and collaboration between tribal dancers of Australia and India. I am hopeful that this workshop will open new avenues of collaboration between Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and its counterpart ethnographic museums which will revitalise and relocate sustainable values of Indigenous people in a globalised world.”
Bangarra are internationally acclaimed for combining more than 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with powerful contemporary dance, immersive soundscapes, music and design. The company’s dancers are dynamic artists, each of whom has a proud Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background.
The company’s India tour will take off with a spectacular dance performance set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Qutb Minar in New Delhi on 25 October, followed by captivating performances in Bengaluru and Mumbai. The company will also travel to Purulia, home of the Chhau mask dance, and Aizawl in Northeast India, for further community engagement activities.
About Australia Fest:
On 18 September 2018 Australia’s High Commissioner to India Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, launched Australia Fest, a six month long celebration of Australian culture and creativity. Australia Fest has been made possible with the generous support of our partners in three major categories: Platinum: State Governments of Victoria and New South Wales; Gold: Deakin University; Silver: ANZ Banking Group, Ashok & Mariam Jacob, CQ University Australia, FCM Travel Solutions, Mahindra, Northern Territory Government, Tata BlueScope Steel, Telstra, Tourism Australia and Woodside Energy. Australia Fest’s hotel partner is the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), airline partner is Singapore Airlines, wine partner is Jacob’s Creek, and promotion partner is BookMyShow.
Follow us for updates – www.australiafest.com
Twitter: @AusHCIndia Instagram: @aushcindia Facebook: AustraliainIndia
About Bangarra Dance Theatre:
Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company, acclaimed worldwide for its moving performances, distinctive voice and authentic storytelling. Bangarra are internationally acclaimed for combining more than 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with powerful contemporary dance, immersive soundscapes, music and design.
Relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are at the heart of Bangarra, with its repertoire created on Country and stories gathered from respected community Elders. It is this inherent connection to land and people that makes Bangarra unique and enjoyed by audiences from remote Australian regional centres to Tokyo, New York and Paris.
The Baiga is a forest dwelling community of central India. They are mainly distributed in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states of India. They have intimate knowledge of plants and animals in their surroundings. Like many other Indian tribal communities the Baiga also represent a colourful culture which includes various dance forms with hand crafted costumes and ornaments. The prominent folk song and dance forms of the Baigas include Karma, Saila, Reena, Dadaria and Sua (or parrot dance), which are performed on percussion instruments such as Mandar or Dhol.