Bollywood to jazz at Mela 100 celebration ; MELA FESTIVALThis year's spectacular Mela festival in Nottingham will celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema and will also include poetry, music and lots of delicious food. Oonagh Robinson and Joanna Hunt report
THE sights, sounds, tastes and spectacle of South Asian and world culture will be brought together once again for this year's extravagant Mela celebrations in Nottingham.
Mela 100 will see a vibrant and colourful coming together of music, dance, visual arts, street entertainment, food and crafts, promise organisers the New Art Exchange and the Nottingham Asian Arts Council.
The event, which runs from September 6-15, will also include a major look at 100 years of Bollywood cinema - with special screenings of classic films.
Held across five city venues, Nottingham Mela is the oldest traditional mela (a Sanskrit word for gathering) in the UK and aims to rival the Edinburgh Festival combined with the carnival atmosphere of Notting Hill.
The event opens on Friday, September 6 at Primary Art Studios in Seely Road, Radford, with art exhibitions and a screening of top Bollywood film Pakeezah from 7pm.
On the same night, renowned singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will be appearing at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall performing a lively mix of traditional qawwali music.
On September 7, there will be an evening of music at the New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, curated and composed by MOBO and Mercury award-winning jazz pianist Zoe Rahman, whose work is inspired by the great Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore.
A festival highlight on September 8 will be a family fun day at the New Art Exchange, with activities for all ages followed by a special screening of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at 7.30pm inside the big Chipperfield's circus tent at Forest Recreation Ground.
Mela 100 will conclude on Sunday, September 15 at Nottingham Castle with a picnic plus colourful stalls and trade stands in the beautiful gardens as part of this year's Heritage Open Day celebrations.
Skinder Hundal, chief executive of the New Art Exchange and creative producer of the extravaganza, says: Nottingham Mela is special as it recognises that South Asian and cultures from across the world play an important part in our city and our lives.
British Asian artists continue to pioneer practices capturing the traditions of the East and contemporary arts with a UK perspective.
Bhavesh Jani, from Nottingham Asian Arts, promises Mela 100 will offer fantastic free entertainment event for the whole city.
He adds: This year, we are particularly thankful to Chipperfields for sponsoring the cinema marquee at Forest Recreation Ground and to the city council for making the Castle available for the family picnic.
Further details are available at www.thenewartexchange.org.uk
South Asian and cultures from across world play an important partSkinder Hundal
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