Nottingham Mela Weekender 2017
Friday 8 & Saturday 9 September 2017: New Art Exchange
Sunday 10 September 2017: Nottingham Castle Grounds
Nottingham's annual South Asian celebration returns as Mela 2017! Nottingham Mela continues its important legacy as the first national Mela which launched in 1988, and this year also marks the significant 70th anniversary year of Indian Independence, and the creation of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Marking the anniversary, this year Nottingham Mela is bigger than ever, with events throughout the summer as well as a weekend extravaganza in September, filling New Art Exchange (NAE) and the majestic grounds of Nottingham Castle.
Over the weekend, visitors are invited to experience an unforgettable programme of spectacular performances, authentic cuisine, active games and family friendly workshops.
Mela launches on Friday evening at New Art Exchange with a performance by Aakash Odedra an award winning, contemporary British dancer trained in the classical Indian dance styles of Kathak.
The festivities continue all day Saturday at New Art Exchange, who are hosting two South Asian inspired exhibitions, Bhairav, by acclaimed Indian artists Nikhil Chopra, Munir Kabani and others, and Dam Pani by Birmingham-based Pakistani artist Tasawar Bashir, paying homage to the famed Pakistani Qawwali singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, on the 20th anniversary of his passing.
Alongside the exhibitions, the day will host family activities, live music performances and a theatre performance by Peter Chand, Tongue, Tied and Twisted, which retells South Asian stories in English language, fusing Urban Hip Hop and Classical South Asian sounds.
On Sunday, Mela continues in the open air, in the majestic landscaped grounds of Nottingham Castle. To coincide with National Heritage Open Days, the historic site will be filled with a colourful range of activities for the whole family to enjoy including: a dance programme, a line-up of live music performances, sports, street-food stalls, art and craft workshops for children and much more!
Harjinder Matharu leads a dramatic dhol drum procession into the Castle grounds to kick off the day! We continue with an exciting range of music events in our bandstand including UK's leading classical Indian/Indo jazz Saxophonist Jesse Bannister. The dance tent includes Manushi Dance Company performing the graceful Indian classical dance of kathak, and Shakti Dance present energetic Bollywood and bhangra styles.
Over the summer, other Mela events included PunjabTronix on 22 July at NAE, merging the electronic music of Mercury nominated performer DJ Swami, and renowned Punjabi folk musicians. On 10 August, Bernhard Schimpelsberger performed using the rhythms of tabla in an innovative percussion performance at NAE. The South Asian Summer concludes during Diwali celebrations on 12 - 15 October in Old Market Square, with a performance by Dance 4 on 20 October.
There is something for everybody to enjoy in Nottingham Mela 2017. This innovative festival is a dynamic fusion between the global and local, established and emerging artists, allowing visitors to truly experience the diversity and beauty of South Asian culture.