Dancers Shyam Dattani & Mira Salat in Hounslow High Street. (Picture: Shweta Shukla)
Eastern Eye Staff
COME August 13 and the Hounslow Town Centre will be transformed as it celebrates South Asian Heritage Month and hosts ANHAD, a new and exciting outdoor multi-arts festival featuring exceptional, cutting-edge contemporary work by South Asian artists based in the UK. The festival will be directed by Mira Kaushik, OBE, in partnership with Bell Square London.
The festival will be a colourful and vibrant celebration of contemporary South Asian outdoor arts – including processions, performance, dance, music, family shows and much more. It will be a unique festival, ground-breaking as the first of its kind, and will aim to give a platform for UK South Asian creativity across all arts. The goal is to make ANHAD an annual event based in Hounslow and be the premier UK event for shining a spotlight on contemporary South Asian creativity to the wider world.
There will be music from artistes as Anando Mukerjee, UK’s leading operatic tenor of Indian origin; Nadia Javed, solo artiste, activist and lead singer of The Tuts and Zayn Mohammed, Jason Reyes, Filippo Galli, Ruhiya Rutherford (Zayn Mohammed Trio).
Dance performances will be presented by some of the most celebrated artistes, including Nina Rajarani, MBE (Jham! by Srishti); celebrated local artistes Pratap Pawar MBE, Ashwini Kalsekar (Kathakology by Kirti Kala Mandir, UK); Shyam Dattani (Bedam commissioned by Akademi); Balbir Singh (Hopscotch & The Two Fridas by Balbir Singh Dance Company); Odissi Ensemble (Aroha); Bollywood Dance School; Anvi Prabhu (JOGI), movement artiste Manuela Benini (with guest dancer Jesal Patel) and amazing Anusha Subramanyam (Choogh Choogh by Beeja).
The festival will start at 2 pm with performances in Bell Square, the square outside Holy Trinity Church on the High Street. The festival will finish at 9.30 pm.
The festival is supported by Hounslow Council as part of the borough’s Summer of Culture and is also one of many that has been supported by The National Lottery Community Fund — the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Mira Kaushik, OBE said, “The festival promises the very best of UK-based South Asian outdoor arts performed and created by the best South Asian artists from across the country working alongside Hounslow’s artists and communities. This is a pilot to celebrate of this immense creativity. within South Asian communities across the UK – artists that bring their own style and take on traditional arts.”
Jan Lennox, director, Watermans (Bell Square) said, “This will be a fantastic platform for South Asian creativity. The breadth and depth of contemporary South Asian outdoor arts is huge, so it will be wonderful to see such diverse acts performing in Hounslow and we hope this will become an annual celebration of an important part of UK culture.”