A blast from Down Under

Oz Fest’, the biggest Australian cultural festival to have ever been staged in India, was launched in Bangalore on Friday, kick-starting a series of interesting events that will go on till February 2013.

The crew of ‘Oz Fest’.

“‘Oz Fest’ will showcase the dynamism, creativity and diversity that Australia has to offer by focussing on Australian music, art, food, films, literature, dance, and much more,” announced David Holly, Australian Consul-General for South India.

One of the festival highlights is the ‘Aussie BBQ’, taking place this Sunday at CounterCulture, which will feature four popular Australia bands — ‘Jinja Safari’, ‘Big Scary’, ‘Sheppard’ and DJ duo, ‘The Aston Shuffle’.

In the near future, the City will also witness ‘Sagara Kanyaka: Lady from the Sea’, a theatrical adaptation of the Ibsen classic by collaborators from both India and Australia; ‘Now and When’, a 3D exhibition portraying a potential Australian urban future in 2050 and beyond; ‘Glow’, an interactive dance/film experience by Australian dance company Chunky Move and many other acts.

The Bangalore leg of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, also part of the fest, has already been conducted and left the audience roaring with laughter.
“We’re quite relieved to find out that we’re funny in India as well,” laughed comedian Cal Wilson, who is thrilled to be a part of the festival. “We’ve already got a lot of new material out of what we’ve done and seen in India,” he added.

Last but certainly not the least is the Bookwallah tour, the first roving writers’ festival in India. Australian writers Kirsty Murray and Benjamin Law, along with Indian writer, Sudeep Sen, Annie Zaidi and Chandrahas Choudhury, will travel 2000 kilometres across India by train, looking for stories, conversations and connections. They will also be accompanied by a travelling library, the books of which will be donated to universities and local libraries along the way.

“I’m looking forward to learning about Australian literature and poetry through dialogues and human interaction, which is more meaningful than reading it in books or the Internet. We’re also going to be making a book out of our journey, which will consist of blog posts, diary entries, audio clips, photographs and more,” informed poet Sudeep Sen.

Rumours have it that the festival is going to end with a performance by Gotye, the man famous worldwide for his single, ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’.
Details about ‘Oz Fest’ can be found on www.ozfestindia.com

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