Fes­ti­val dancers stand out

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ANDREW BACKHOUSE

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.”

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

HIGH FLYER: Jor­dan Man­iot, one of the Manus Dancers who will per­form at the Townsville Cul­tural Fes­ti­val.

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