Mela’s multi cultural melange offers sparkling Festivals’ finale
Festival season in Edinburgh may be drawing to a close this week but it’s not all over yet as Scotland’s foremost celebration of cultural diversity through arts and culture promises a weekend of Asian Urban Arts performances.
Marking the end of Festival season and taking place at Leith Links, the Edinburgh Mela Festival returns this weekend (3rd & 4th September) with a jam packed two-day programme.
Now in its 17th year, the Mela promises an exciting programme with BMX-ing mixed with break-dancing, and world class musical performances, as well as the firm favourites of the fashion show and children events.
Funded and supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland, the Mela will also see the unveiling of a specially-commissioned Pandal (see notes to editors), supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, featuring South Asian and Scottish cultural symbols designed and created by Bengali and Scottish artists.
Looking forward to the Edinburgh Mela under his artistic guidance for the first year, Steve Stenning, Edinburgh Mela Director, said:
“This weekend will be a sparkling finale to the summer Festivals. Our programme has an ambitious mix of spectacular commissions, world premiere performances and diverse programming that I’m sure will excite and enthral in equal measure. And at only £2.50 per person and under-12s going free, it’s a great value day out.
“This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore with a performance from Dakshinayan UK, along with traditional Scottish music. I’m especially excited about this performance which will honour the connection between the work of Tagore and Robert Burns: an excellent example of old and new cultures meeting.”
The programme for this year includes a large dedicated outdoor area showcasing Rotations a unique fusion of BMX ‘flatlanding - breakin’ (breakdancing) with contemporary dance, and a colourful and exuberant performance of live music “Africa Calling” by Samba Sene and Diwan. The Big Top Tent will play host to an impressive collaboration of Indian and Western musicians, Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, performing their world premiere which builds on the achievements of the acclaimed Nava Rasa ensemble, and the Garden Stage will be a platform for Bollywood and classical Indian dance along with choirs and musical jam sessions.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “The Mela is a fantastic celebration of Scotland’s cultural diversity and a key component of Edinburgh’s world renowned festivals. With an exciting programme, featuring a host of exceptional local and international talent and a banquet of tasty food, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. The elaborate and colourful Pandals created by Scottish and Bengali artists, with support from our Expo Fund, will animate the Mela site and provide a real focal point to be enjoyed by all festival goers.”
Day Passes for the Edinburgh Mela can be booked now or bought at Leith Links on the day.