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  • free
  • international


Upper Trafalgar Street
Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct


PERFORMANCE: Mon 28 Oct, 7pm

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This year’s Nelson Arts Festival has a designated space hosted by communities from different cultural backgrounds, to encourage informal conversations around arts and culture.

The Festival Tent at the top of Trafalgar Street will serve as a base for communities to create works to be shown and performed at the end of the Festival.

The public is invited to visit this space and interact with the communities while they engage in a flurry of creativity, and be part of the interesting Cultural Conversations that take shape.

At the end of the Festival, the groups will present what they have created in a performance on the Church Steps, in the Cultural Conversations Performance.

Sat 19-Mon 21 Oct: Sri Lankan group
Tue 22-Thu 24 Oct: Bhutanese group
Fri 25-Sun 27 Oct: Colombian group

Sri Lankan group
Sat 19 & Sun 20 Oct, 3-7pm; Mon 21 Oct, 5-7pm

All activities will take place each day
– Mask painting and conversations around the process
– Mask exhibition and performance
– Sari demonstration

In Sri Lankan traditional dances, the masks are an integral part. The masks that will be showcased and painted during Cultural Conversations are called Kolam masks, which means these masks are used by the dances/performances to depict a satirical story. Each mask represents a role or character you’d find in the village or town. It could be from the village beauty to the policeman. The origins of the Kolam masks and dances go back centuries. Some of the stories are based on Buddhist scriptures.

Bhutanese group
Tue 22 – Thu 24 Oct

There will be different activities each day:
Tue 22 Oct, 6-7pm: Music, dances and modelling different costumes
Wed 23 Oct, 5-7pm: Playing a fun traditional festival dice game called Langur burja and an exhibition of paintings
Thu 24 Oct, 5-7pm: Music and dancing by children

Colombian group
Fri 25 Oct, 3-7pm; Sat 26 & Sun 27 Oct, 1.30-7pm

Fri 25, 3-4pm, Sat 26 & Sun 27, 1.30-2.15 & 6-6.45 – dance practice and performance by Orchid Latin Dance
4.30pm each day, Pablo Salas will offer dance lessons to the public.
There will also be hair braiding demonstrations and a painting exhibition.

Hair braiding was a form of communication during slavery. Messages would be relayed to signal the desire to escape and the roads they would use. Gold and seeds were sometimes hidden to help survival after escaping to remote areas.
Pablo Salas will teach a choreography that will be part of the performance on Mon 28 Oct.

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