Highlights include a collaboration between the Godfather of British Asian Urban music Pandit Dinesh and Afro-Latin jazz pianist Kishon Khan; the award-winning Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company; and aerial work from Scarabeus Theatre, one of one of the foremost exponents of multi-disciplinary aerial performance.
Backed by the Mayor of London and produced by Ealing Council, the free one-day family festival will also feature the new commission Sitar Rhapsody, which is part of the Mela Trilogy and pays tribute to Freddie Mercury. The first and second parts of the Mela Trilogy – In the Dhol Drums and Tabla Blah Blah – are also being performed – it is the first time the trilogy, which features iconic musical instruments, will have been performed in its entirety.
The London Mela celebrates the creativity and culture of London’s Asian communities, providing a platform for emerging British artists, as well as bringing traditional and classical art forms to a wider audience. It is also one of the only melas in the UK to commission new work.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: ‘I am pleased to give my backing to the London Mela, which now offers the broadest programme of Asian festival anywhere outside the Indian sub-continent. It is a fantastic day out for all ages and because of the way it approaches the diversity of Asian culture, it can be counted on for some of the most exciting and memorable moments of the summer.’
The event will include ten themed zones and six music and performance stages, including the classical stage; the indo-electronica stage; the community and cabaret stage; London Flavas presented by BBC Radio 1’s Bobby and Nihal; and the BBC Asian Network stage. Other zones will include Magic Mela for children, a funfair and a marketplace with food and cultural stalls. There will be dance, street theatre, visual arts and crafts.
Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra said: ‘From the start, the London Mela set out to create new and inspiring projects to rejuvenate mela in the UK. As one of the only melas in the country to commission new work, the London Mela is creating flagship projects that become ambassadors for the event as they tour all year round.’
More details about this year’s London Mela, which is one of many events taking place in the capital as part of the three month India Now season, will be released in due course. ENDS