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Indian, Bengali and Hindi flavours spice up Rise: London United

26 June 2006

The Mela Stage at the Mayor of London's annual anti-racism festival Rise: London United festival promises to spice things up for fans of Asian music, dance and art. A mix of classical and contemporary performers sets the theme for the stage to reflect the diversity of London’s Asian Communities.

Hosted by Jay Kumar Bollywood dance choreographer and British Asian scene pioneer Sangeeta Sabharwal, the Mela stage kicks off with new female artist Unnati whose blend of Indian classical, Hindi contemporary, Bengali folk, jazz and soul provide a unique musical sound.

The Mela stage also plays host to Asian music artists including desirock producers and UK music award-winners Swami, musical poets the D’archetypes, Sitar Fusion, the Bollywood Brass band, stilt walkers from nutkhuts Maharajahs and drummers Dhol Academy.

Performers on the festival main stage will include Graham Coxon, Roy Ayers, Buzzcocks, DJ Kayper, Mentor Kolectiv, Sway and the Wailers. There’s also six other music stages; Big Cuba Fiesta, Urban music stage, Mela stage, Crescent stage, African Village and DJ Dub Bus, reflecting the wide range of music from around the world that can be heard in the capital.

It is the sixth year that the Mayor has supported what has become the largest festival of its kind in Europe, in conjunction with the National Assembly Against Racism and TUC South East Region (SERTUC). Over 80,000 people attended the event in 2005.


Event: Rise: London United Festival – Mela Stage
Date: Saturday 8 July 2006
Time: Noon – 8.30pm
Venue: Finsbury Park, N4

The Mela Stage - hosted by Jay Kumar and Sangeeta Sabharwal

1pm Unnati
1:55pm Jay Kumar Dance Children’s Company
2:15pm Sitar Fusion
3:05pm Jay Kumar Bollywood Dance Company
3.45pm  D’Archetypes
4.45pm Dhol Academy
5pm Swami
5.55pm Dhol Academy & Maharajahs
6.15pm Bollywood Brass Band

Notes to Editors

  1. Rise: London United is a free, one-day festival celebrating multiculturalism and promoting anti-racism, organised by the Mayor of London in partnership with the National Assembly Against Racism and TUC South East Region (SERTUC). It has the support of UNISON, Canary Wharf, ITV London, London Development Agency and Transport for London.
  2. For general information, including how to get involved, go to; email; or call: 020 7983 6554.
  3. Acts for the Mela stage are being programmed by Nutkhut. Nutkhut are an internationally acclaimed creative duo, creating and curetting bold, imaginative instillations and performances both indoors and out. Nutkhut was formed in 2004 by dancer/choreographer Simmy Gupta and actor/director Ajay Chhabra. Drawing on their individual backgrounds in film, classical dance, theatre and street performance, Nutkhut creates work for a range of different settings and scales. The company’s projects have included large-scale, outdoor, site specific performances; through to street-based theatre shows and specially-devised indoor spectacle. By combining theatre, dance, music, circus and film, Nutkhut creates imaginative, witty and visually stunning performances and installations, with a popular appeal.
  4. The festival will also include performances from this year's Poetry Slam winners. The Poetry Society and the Mayor of London called on all young performance poets, rappers and emcees across the boroughs of London aged between 12 and 18 years old to take part in the fifth Rise: London United London wide youth slam, where they used their verbal skills highlight life in the capital
  5. Rise Week precedes the festival, with a range of events and activities across London that celebrate the capital's diversity and oppose racism. Included in the week are a wide variety of events in boroughs, galleries, theatres, museums, music venues, arts and community centres, parks and public spaces, all of which reflect the vibrant multi-cultural nature of the city.
  6. Rise: London United also features the Mayor of London's Capture London's Diversity photo competition 2006, which is an opportunity for photographers of all ages, non professional and professional, to give their personal take on London's diversity. The competition closed on 2 June and there will be a public display of winning entries in an outdoor exhibition on Trafalgar Square, an exhibition at City Hall, and at the Rise: London United festival. Worked will also be put on the festival website.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Press information is available on 020 7983 4068 or 020 7983 4071 (numbers not for publication)

GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100

DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 4000

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