Featuring over 100-plus artists across four venues over four weekends, Sangam 2021 Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora will present an eclectic range of music, dance, spoken word, comedy, classical, contemporary and experimental performances.
Being held on February 20, 27, March 6, March 11-13, at Abbotsford Convent, The Drum Theatre, Bunjil Place and Dancehouse, Sangam 2021 builds on the inaugural three-day festival held in November 2019, which brought together 80 award-winning South Asian and Australian artists of diverse backgrounds. The 2021 festival reunites the highly successful artistic team of Dr. Priya Srinivasan, Hari Sivanesan and Uthra Vijay who led Sangam in 2019. Based in Naarm/Melbourne on unceded land, Sangam acknowledges the traditional custodians of the Wurundjeri and Bunnuwurung people and is guided by Blakdance.
With support from the Victorian Government and co-produced by Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV), the 2021 Festival will present a day at Abbotsford Convent dedicated to immersive and eclectic experiences and a family-focused afternoon; the Earth Matters Walking Experience in Dandenong which offers audiences a unique participatory interactive experience; experimental performances at Bunjil Place, featuring 15 artists from the South East region mentored by renowned local and international artists over six months; and classical and contemporary South Asian dance at Dancehouse.
Speaking about Sangam 2021, Srinivasan said, “We are so grateful to see the interest and excitement for South Asian Australian artists and artistic practices grow. Through COVID and our severe lockdown, we had to innovate connecting the local with global which enabled surprising and beautiful relationships, learnings and performances that you will see at our festival. It shows how resilient artists of colour and how needed new voices are to truly reflect Australia as it is today.”
As in 2019, MAV has co-produced Sangam 2021, as part of its commitment to leading sector transformation by empowering artist-led frameworks that model international best practice.
MAV CEO Veronica Pardo said, “As the leading diversity arts company in Victoria, MAV is a critical support for creative practitioners wishing to challenge systems of cultural production and consumption. We believe Sangam is an exemplar of how things can be done to ensure a more equitable and representative arts sector.”
With experiences happening across four weekends, in venues spread across Melbourne’s city center and periphery, there is something for everyone in this year’s free and ticketed program. Enjoy a family-friendly afternoon of immersive music/dance experiences with a fun dash of Indian and South Asian food and culture. Indulge in evenings dedicated to short spoken word, experimental music/dance and screen performances. Engage in site-specific performances and classical and contemporary South Asian dance, and participate in scintillating panel discussions with Sangam 2021.
For more information and to book tickets, head to www.sangam.com.au.