Parramasala, Australian Festival of South Asian Arts Program

October 1st, 2012



Parramasala, Australian Festival of South Asian Arts is a dynamic four-day program featuring opening night Bollywood-style party, theatre, music, comedy, food, market stalls and free entertainment

  • 8 – 11 November, 2012

Parramasala, Australian Festival of South Asian Arts is a dynamic four-day program featuring a spectacular opening night Bollywood-style party, popular theatre, a wide menu of contemporary music, comedy, delicious cuisine, hawker market stalls, a South Asian film program and free outdoor entertainment. The festival, now in its third year, transforms the city of Parramatta from

The program features well-known international and Australian artists, as well as many artists from Western Sydney – all inspired by the cultural influences and artistic traditions of South Asia.

The Parramasala program for 2012 includes:
A Bollywood Block Party opens the festival by taking over the Town Hall Square. It features special guest MC, the legendary Australian music icon Kamahl, with dance choreographed by Prafulla Parida (‘Merchants of Bollywood’), drumming led by Mahashi Raval, direction by Anton and appearances by The Bombay Royale and Sri Lankan acrobatic and drum ensemble, Naadro. It is produced by Virginia Hyam, previously head of Sydney Opera House’s Studio.

The façade of Parramatta Town Hall will be illuminated throughout the festival with stunning digital projections by Australia’s internationally famous masters of the art form, The Electric Canvas.

British / Indian composer Soumik Datta, recently described by Vogue UK as one of the hottest new music talents in the world, teams up with Austrian percussion virtuoso, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, in Circle of Sound, a spectacular combination of sarod, drumkit, synth bass, electronics and stunning visuals. Both artists have recorded and performed with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan, amongst many others.

Australian blues guitarist Jeff Lang, award winning tabla player Bobby Singh and masterful Rajasthani musicians Asin Khan and Bhurga Khan, who will appear in the evocative world premiere concert, Maru Tarang (translated as Desert Ripples).

Susheela Raman has enraptured countless audiences with her wildly original songs and interpretations of music from her Tamil heritage.

Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and his ensemble give one special concert on the final night of the festival. One of the most famous and influential Indian artists of his generation, Hari Prasad has performed and recorded with George Harrison and the Beatles and has composed widely for many major Bollywood films.

Asif Ali Khan inspires audiences with his full throat vocals and energetic rhythms accompanied by his nine member ensemble on the free Outdoor Stage.

The film program begins with the world premiere of Sunshine and Shade. This poignant character-driven Australian documentary, produced and directed by Ana Tiwary.

The Outdoor Stage in Town Hall Square runs throughout the festival and hosts an entirely free program of outstanding music, dance and visual delights.

Full details of the Outdoor Stage program will be announced in October on the Parramasala website.

Town Hall Square is the backdrop to the new Festival Bar, open until late each night with great views of the Outdoor Stage and all the action of the festival.

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

Masala Markets  with more than 30 stalls outdoor in the Town Hall Square and indoor in the Town Hall.

For the full program and to purchase tickets visit and join the email list to get regular newsletters and updates.

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