Delhi looks Down Under,game for parallel cultural fest in 2010

Taking a leaf out of Melbourne’s success in hosting the last edition of the Commonwealth Games,the Delhi government is game to hold a parallel cultural festival coinciding with the 12-day sports event next year.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi | Published: January 22, 2009 12:26 am

Taking a leaf out of Melbourne’s success in hosting the last edition of the Commonwealth Games,the Delhi government is game to hold a parallel cultural festival coinciding with the 12-day sports event next year.

In 2006,Melbourne had hosted ‘Melbourne Festival’ alongside the Games,which was seen as a huge success for both tourists as well as residents.

The government has now roped in Sahitya Kala Parishad to plan a cultural and entertainment event on the same level — to be hosted across the city as an additional attraction during the October 3-14,2010 event. Sahitya Kala Parishad officials along with Department of Art,Culture and Language Secretary Reena Ray will finalise the schedule for the cultural events in a meeting with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday.

In focus,say officials,will be as many as 250 monuments,which will host many of the musical and dance performances. “Ninety-two monuments have been shortlisted for preservation for the Games and a list of 250 will be identified for these events,” a government official in the know of the development said. “One reason is we want to focus on many of the lesser-known monuments of Delhi that we feel are just as beautiful and historically important.”

Nearly 2,500 artistes had come together in Melbourne to showcase Australia’s culture and heritage. The 12-day-long sequence of events had live music,dance,percussion,choirs,circus,aerial acts,beach games,dance workshops and food festival among others. Besides official venues,restaurants,pubs and roadside eateries had also hosted entertainers,drawing crowds.

Delhi,too,is drafting plans on similar lines including exhibitions,workshops,theatre and a film festival. According to the official,the government is in talks with the Films Division to screen films portraying Delhi’s culture,and the changing geography,over the decades. The Games organising committee would handle the opening and closing ceremonies.

Last October,a cultural committee was formed to organise events during the Games — the committee comprises members of INTACH and prominent personalities from the world of art and culture. 

Sahitya Kala Parishad has in the past managed annual cultural events such as Bhakti Sangeet,Ananya Dance Festival,Qutab festival,Summer Festival,Vasant Utsav,Garden Festival and Sharad Utsav among others.

Kala Parishad secretary Shekhar Vaishnavi said,“It is too early to discuss the plan. We are at present planning the concept.”

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