The stars of India to give Perth a glow

IN it’s ninth year the Swan Festival of Lights is a colourful spectacle of music, dance and mouthwatering Indian food.

It celebrates the Hindu holy day Deepavali and victory of light over darkness, good over evil: “We are not preaching religion, but preaching giving back to the community,” Somun Balasubramaniam says.

Entry to the three day festival is free: “To put on a beautiful show is our profit.”

It’s the first time the festival will be held at Elizabeth Quay, and Mr Balasubramaniam says the new precinct’s imposing 29-metre sculpture Spanda is a perfect fit for the festival.

“Spanda is also a Sanskrit term that means ‘universal vibration’ which describes movement of both consciousness and physical world in waves, typified by the energy of light that illuminates and sustains all of nature,” Mr Balasubramaniam says.

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Annually around 25,000 flock to enjoy a festival rich in the Indian arts and this year the focus is on the Southern Indian region of Kerala.

“For the first time in many years, WA will witness a world-renowned Kathakali dance troupe, with their colourful costumes, make-up and vibrant movements,” Mr Balasubramaniam says.

There’ll also be a performance of Kallaripayattu martial arts, traditional crafts from the region along with dance workshops and cooking demonstrations.

And lots and lots of mouthwatering Indian food.

Things end with a light filled spectacular with a “light dance” around the quay – and a firework display over the river.

The Swan Festival of Lights is on October 28 – 30, and runs from 4.30 – 9.30pm.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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