Australia was wounded from bush fire; many artists were trying to share their arts to spread positivity and now COVID-19 has hit the country. The world may shut down for a day or so, but creating arts is a continuous process.

Amidst chaos, for a minute pause and think: the films you watch, the books you read, the songs you listen to and dance you do – are all contributions of many artists of this society.

Before COVID-19 lockdown, Melbourne got to see two such shows encouraging the feeling of oneness within the society. Therefore, reminding us that in this social distancing time, we all stand together.

Leap of Faith – A Concert Supporting the Bushfire Appeal

On Leap Day (Feb 29th) 2020, non-profit entity Yadra together with DJ Vijay Kumaran, organised the Leap of Faith night, which focused on raising funds for bushfire victims, through GERF; the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund. With a history of being residents in Gippsland, the organisers felt especially drawn to the cause, and managed to raise $2,000 through tickets, auctions and raffle draws. 

Approximately 130 were in attendance and throughout the night, guests enjoyed a 3-course meal provided by Cinnamon Club and live entertainment by some of Melbourne’s finest.

The brilliant sitarist David Balaban opened the night, performing melodious classical pieces while accompanied by notable tabla player Aman Kalyan. Bindaas Bollywood wowed the audience with vibrant and energetic dances. Organisers Kavita Kalyan & Aman Kalyan tugged at heart strings, performing a series of live and soulful ghazal and sufi songs. Sagar Tiwari, performed unplugged Bollywood numbers, leaving the crowd feeling nostalgic. The evening ended with DJ Vijay who got the crowd on the dance floor.

Melbourne International Festival of Hindustani Classical Music

Melbourne Hindustani Classical Music Society organised the grand opening event of the Melbourne International Festival of Hindustani Classical Music, with recital by Pt Rajendra Prasanna on Shehnai & Flute, Pt Abhijit Banerjee on Tabla and Vinod Prasanna on Flute.

In the first half of the show, the world-renowned Pt. Rajendra Prasanna started with Raag Puriya Kalyan, leading to Ektaal and Teen Taal and ended the session with melodic and soul stirring Holi Dhun.

In the second half of the evening he displayed his equal prowess on another instrument, Shahnai. The audience was moved by his undisputed marvel of Raag Maru Bihag and Bhairavi.

The success of the evening could be witnessed when artists received a prolonged standing ovation by the many in the audience. This event was organised in the memory of Mohindar Singh Dhillon, a man whose tireless work of over 5 decades truly established the Hindustani classical music scene in Australia.

(Sanchita Abrol)