Welcome, and thank you for reading our blog byte. Your go to source for multicultural related news, updates, upcoming events and anything Gandhian we encounter. In this edition, we’ll be covering the Confluence: Festival of India in Australia Closing Gala, which officially closed off Confluence for 2016 and waved goodbye to an incredible inaugural year. The gala took place at the Canberra Theatre Centre on Tuesday, November 8th 2016.
In 2016, Confluence: Festival of India in Australia produced 72 events that featured 162 different performers, showcasing Indian culture and artistry alongside some highly unique collaborations that saw the convergence of Indian and Australian music and dance. The performances were distributed across 39 of Australia’s finest venues, gathering a total festival footfall of 91,500 people and an impressive 31 sold out shows. The above feats positioned Confluence as the largest multicultural festival in Australia in it’s very first year, an accomplishment that many came to celebrate on November 8th at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from attending so many Confluence events throughout 2016, it’s that they really aren’t slow starters. Within minutes of arrival, Kalakshetra took front and centre to perform their dance composition ‘Jatayu Moksham’. For anyone who didn’t catch these guys at their shows in Melbourne, Perth or Canberra, their style is majorly based on story telling. As many of you would know, this is something we love to do ourselves, so you can bet that we were all eyes and ears as they swayed and contorted their bodies to depict an ancient mythological narrative.
As Mr Suri took stage to make his speech, it was hard not to think back to his words at the festivals launch all the way back in November 2014, which would foreshadow the overall atmosphere that followed the festival. At the festival launch Mr Suri said, “Confluence represents a meeting point – of arts and artists, or ideas and ideals, of cultures and civilizations. Like the waters of two rivers, they meet, share and imbibe from each other. That’s the focus of our festival, of the collaborations that it strives to promote.”
A memorable moment shared between His Excellency, Mr. Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner of India in Australia, and General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC.
As we recapped on all the outstanding collaborative performances, sold out shows, exceptional reviews and memorable moments, this statement seemed to stick in the back of everyone’s minds. In 2016, Confluence had achieved something that no other Australian festival had done to date. It established a cultural meeting point through artistry and projected the wonderful collaborations that arose, to a national audience. In attending the Closing Gala, it truly dawned on us the tremendous implications that a festival like Confluence can have. Confluence is not simply an expression of artistry, but a symbol of how far relations between India and Australia have developed, of how far they are going to develop, and of how incredible this growth is to experience. The Confluence Closing Gala reminded everyone in attendance that we were all a part of something truly special, a festival that through artistry showcases an incredible bond between two nations.
One thing that really gets us excited is the idea that as this bond continues to grow, so too will Confluence: A Festival of India in Australia.