Festival dancers stand out
FLASHY dresses and catchy Indian drumbeats in a three- hour non- stop Bollywood performance mesmerised the crowd at the Townsville Cultural Festival last night.
The performance which involved more than 200 performers was one of scores of activities at the five- day festival which started on Wednesday.
Festival executive director Dr Farvardin Daliri said the popularity of Bollywood drew a large audience to the show.
But some of the best acts were yet to come, he said.
Australian country music singer and daughter of Slim Dusty Anne Kirkpatrick will take to the stage tonight. Before the show an indigenous ceremony will welcome her to Townsville.
She’ll perform some of her songs – and others made famous by her father – before another ceremony to thank the community and sponsors for supporting the festival.
Afghanistan refugee Shirin Rasuli will speak before former diplomat Iain Campbell Smith, also known as Fred Smith, takes the stage. Mr Daliri said Ms Rasuli was expected to thank Australian Defence Force personnel in Townsville for freeing her country from the Taliban. The singer is also operating a food stall – one of 27 – at the festival and is selling kebabs.
Dr Daliri said there was a strong Papua New Guinean presence at this year’s festival.
“They’ve come to the festival in numbers, many for the first time,” he said.
“This is the point of the festival to build bridges with the Townsville community which is one of their ( PNG) closest points of reference in terms of the relationship with Australia.”
HIGH FLYER: Jordan Maniot, one of the Manus Dancers who will perform at the Townsville Cultural Festival.