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Parramatta’s Parramasala Festival, Oct 4-7 features Int’l and Aussie Artists



Monday September 23 – Parramassala Festival today announced a dynamic four-day program featuring a multicultural Opening Parade, a wide menu of contemporary music, comedy, acrobatic performances, delicious cuisine, hawker market stalls and free outdoor entertainment.

The festival, now in its fourth year, will transform the city of Parramatta from 4-7 October. 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 Asia.

Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O’Farrell said: “The NSW Government is proud to support the fourth annual Parramasala Festival in 2013.

“Parramatta is home to the largest population of South Asian communities in Australia, and the centre of an extraordinary diversity of cultures across Western Sydney, making it the perfect location for the Festival” Mr O’Farrell said.

Festival Director, David Malacari said Parramasala is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and cultural riches of Parramatta and Western Sydney, “over four days and nights audiences can enjoy performances from international acts, free film screenings and outstanding entertainment all in the centre of Parramatta.”

The Parramasala 2013 line-up will kick off with a spectacular multicultural procession of people, floats and animals in a colourful, noisy parade. Individuals and groups from all over the world including Lebanese Drummers, a Uruguayan Candombe, the Bollywood Dance Group and a Dragon and Lion Dance will showcase the diverse talents of Western Sydney in a giant community street party.

The parade will run from Town Hall to Prince Alfred Park where the Opening Concert begins in the beautifully decorated park with sensational world music featuring performances from L-Fresh, Karifi and his African Union Beats, alongside headline act and Bangalore music sensation, Raghu Dixit. Dixit’s first Sydney performance will conclude the opening night with a simultaneous fanfare of sensational fireworks.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris said: “Parramasala draws together a diversity of cultural backgrounds, ideas and innovative collaborations from today’s most celebrated contemporary artists.

“This vibrant international contemporary arts festival will bring an exciting program of arts and entertainment from around the world to Western Sydney.”

Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee said: “The 2013 Parramasala program includes exciting performances from some of the world’s best artists who are coming to Western Sydney to delight audiences with an extraordinary range of free and ticketed events for the whole family.

“Parramasala celebrates the global impact of South Asian arts and reinforces Australia’s important relationship with our key neighbours. It is with great pleasure that we now launch this year’s program for Parramasala, an important multicultural festival in the heart of Parramatta.”

Throughout the festival the Masala Markets will host more than 30 outdoor stalls in the Prince Alfred Park with an enticing range of authentic culinary delights. There will also be traditional art forms to enjoy from henna hand painting to meditation and stalls displaying spices, fabrics, arts, crafts and refreshments for purchase. The Masala Markets will be a bustling bazaar bringing a cultural experience for the whole family.

Another program highlight will be the Mallakhamb Acrobats. These elite athletes from Mumbai present a jaw dropping display of strength, agility and flexibility as they perform poses on a wooden pole. The main outdoor stage at Price Alfred Park will present an extraordinary program of dance and music from Western Sydney’s communities, camel rides and even story-telling for the kids.

The stunningly decorated Chai Temple will be a relaxing oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Parramatta where visitors can indulge in a soothing cup of chai tea or aromatic coffee. With cushion seats and couches in a courtyard decorated by saris and Middle Eastern rugs, the Chai Temple is the most comfortable venue in Parramatta.

Rafferty’s for Free is a program of video art and documentaries by contemporary artists in the Riverside Theatre at Parramasala. The documentaries explore the many facets of South Asia, discovering remote communities in North India.

In addition to the free events across the weekend Parramasala will also feature a range of ticketed events including Fearless Nadia, a celebration of Australia’s first Bollywood icon; Rising a breathtaking performance by international dance star Aakash Odedra; Zameen, contemporary dance and multimedia work that explores a remote Indian community fighting for its way of life and Manakottai, a refreshingly honest and comedic portrayal of migration and cultural tradition.

The Parramasala closing night will feature a two-hour Indian variety show of music, dance and comedy performance from the ‘King of Bollywood,’ Shahrukh Khan in Temptation Reloaded held at Allphones Arena, Homebush. Also known as SRK, the actor has featured in 75 films and this year topped the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list.

Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid said: “Parramatta is proud to host this unique festival, which pays homage to so many of the cultures that call this City home. Parramatta is the perfect place to host a major festival like Parramasala, with excellent transport links including train, bus and ferry, a vast array of dining options and plenty of beautiful natural assets like our river foreshore and Parramatta Park. There are so many things for people to enjoy in Parramatta.”