A taste of arts and culture - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 181

A taste of arts and culture by Harry Bartle

A beautiful boutique celebration of Indian culture is taking over St Peter’s Village Hall in Paekākāriki on the 1st and 2nd of October. Presented by Waterlily & Co, Festival of India is the first full festival for any ethnic group on the Kapiti Coast in over two decades. Organiser Helen Keivom couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s about time! The weekend acknowledges Kapiti’s cultural diversity and the essential contribution the Indian community has long made to our district.” 

It all begins on Saturday night with vibrant performances by Mudra Dance Company and Basant Madhur Ensemble. The former is the premier Indian classical dance company in New Zealand and is directed by internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Vivek Kinra. They specialise in the ancient Bharatanatyam dance style, which creates vivid spectacles through rhythm, colour, music, and motion. Coming down from Auckland, the latter comprises three generations of the Madhur family on tablas, sitar, violin, and Indian harmonium. Basant himself has won numerous awards in India and has played alongside the likes of Grammy winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

Sunday kicks off with an Indian market. Guests can enjoy authentic dishes, stalls featuring Indian clothing and jewellery, traditional music workshops, mehndi (henna) hand painting, and children’s performances. An evening screening of the classic romance Shakespeare Wallah (1965) rounds off the festivities.

A celebration full of colour, music, food, and entertainment, Keivom says she hopes to “grow the festival into an annual event that incorporates India’s great diversity of cultures”.

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« Issue 181, September 27, 2022