BENDIGO residents will share their rich array of cultures, as arts space Kultur-All Makaan prepares to open at the upcoming Castlemaine State Festival.
The intercultural arts space is set to feature 11 performances from Bendigo performers, including from members of the Karen, South Sudanese, Indonesian, Colombian and Indian communities.
It's been fitted out using traditional techniques, by members of many of these communities.
Among the performers will be Shreya Tumu, whose shows mix Indian dance and bellydance with western pop songs. She will also cover songs from movies, sing devotional songs, classical south Indian songs and folk songs, backed by live musicians.
Ms Tumu said her performances shared her experience, her culture, and satisfied her hunger to be an artist.
She learnt classical Indian music from childhood in south India, picking up dance by herself. It wasn't until she moved to Australia that she began to perform seriously, saying she found more freedom to express herself.
Ms Tumu said when she was younger she thought of her own culture as just for old people. She was passionate about western singing as a teenager, learning from an early age.
But when she came to Australia, she began to see people enjoying her culture, and realised it was beautiful.
Suddenly, all the influences from her childhood came together as a blend, Ms Tumu said. The mix of styles fell into place, beginning to work well together.
"It has come through my childhood I have been developing it step by step," Ms Tumu said.
"There's life in dance and singing, and I want to explore that."
Kultur-All Makaan artistic director Jude Anderson said it was exciting to see the project's life renewed, after its original launch was forced to close early in March 2020.
Ms Anderson said Kultur-All Makaan came about to meet the need for Bendigo artists from a mix of backgrounds to have a cultural presence in the city. It was also a way of working with cultural institutions to open up access for those artists, she said.
Ms Anderson said it was a celebration of artists and artisans in the region whose extraordinary talents may not be showcased.
"That celebration of difference can be felt in the way the music is arranged, the sorts of instruments that are brought together, the artists that are collaborating on each performance. It's very much a fusion of musical forms, musical instruments and voice and dance," she said.
Kultur-All Makaan is a small portable gathering space, with fittings made using traditional techniques by Bendigo Harzara, Karen and South Sudanese residents.
Eleven performances will take place in the space over eight days.
The Castlemaine State Festival runs from March 19 to April 4, more information is available at: castlemainefestival.com.au/
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