Tag Archives: mela

Maidstone Mela 2015 Details

The Maidstone Mela will be taking place on September 13 at Mote Park between 12.30 and 6.30pm.

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There is an exciting stage programme featuring a range of culturally diverse artists including Bulgarian Folk Group Kitka, Kerala Cultural Association, Real Eire Irish Dance, Piwnica Polish Cabaret, Maidstone Nepalese Community Group, Four by Four Bhangra Group and Bob Marley Tribute the Trenchtown Experience.

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There will also be a wide array of stalls and stands including the principal Mela sponsor Mid Kent College, as well food from around the World.

For further information on stalls please contact Liz Flynn on lizflynn@maidstone.gov.uk

For further information on the stage programme please contact Gurvinder Sandher on info@cohesionplus.com

Rana Sahota added to Maidstone Mela bill

Emerging Bhangra star Rana Sahota will be performing at the Maidstone Mela on Sunday. A late addition to the bill, he takes the place of ‘2 for 1’ who had to pull out for personal reasons.

Rana will be singing from his forthcoming album. He has won may plaudits for his debut album last year and is looking forward to wooing fans with us unique and enrgetic fusion of bhangra and pop.

“I am delighted to be performing at the Maidstone Mela and am looking forward to showcasing tracks from my forthcoming album,” Rana said, excited about his performance at the Mela.

Maidstone Mela Launch 2010

The formal launch of the Maidstone Mela took place on July 14 with some 350 children joined by teachers and parents parading through the town centre led by Dhol Players, African Drummers and the Bloco Fogo Samba Group. The launch was made possible due to funding secured from Arts Council England.

The schools worked with our partners the renowned arts company Samesky on visual displays which the schools showcased during the parade. The schools involved were St Michael’s CE Junior, Archbishop Courtenay Primary, St Francis Primary, Hollingbourne Primary and West Borough.

The launch event parade started outside Marks and Spencer in Week Street, it then went down Fremlin Walk, into Earl Street, back up Week Street before finishing at Brenchley Gardens where the acts involved in the parade performed for a short time before the Mayor of Maidstone Cllr. Eric Hotson raised the Mela Flag to formally launch the celebrations and activities for the Mela in September.

Gurvinder Sandher the Director of Cohesion Plus said “The Mela launch here in Maidstone goes from strength to strength and it was so great to see so many people coming out and supporting the parade. I am very grateful for the supported provided by Arts Council England without which this event would not be able to happen. The feedback from schools has also been really positive”

Photos courtesy of Sarah Knight and Chris Brunt.

 

Maidstone Mela launches with schools parade

In preparation for the Mela, to be held over two days in September, the young pupils will be parading through Maidstone town centre to celebrate the start of the Mela. This year the Maidstone Mela, which celebrates diversity through music, food and dance, promises to top last year’s popularity and be bigger and better than before.

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr John A. Wilson, said: “The Mela is an important part of Maidstone’s culture. This year’s parade will see scores of children showcasing their art work through the town and will be a taste of what September 11 and 12 will bring. It’s a great example of people working together to bring communities together.”

The Mela is organised in partnership by Maidstone Borough Council, the Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Cohesion Plus. This year it will take place in Mote Park on September 11 from 5pm to 9.15pm and September 12 between 12pm and 6pm.

At the launch of the Mela, which takes place on July 14, there will be a colourful parade with pupils from St Michaels CE Junior, Archbishop Courtenay, St Francis, Hollingbourne Primary, South Borough and West Borough taking part.

The parade will be led by the Four by Four Bhangra dhol drummers, Bloco Fogo Samba and Uzambezi African Drummers.. It will start outside Marks & Spencer in Week Street at 10.30am. The celebrations will then lead down Fremlin Walk before reaching Brenchley Gardens for a flag raising ceremony.

Since 2003, the Mela has attracted thousands of people each year to Mote Park, where they have enjoyed performances of music and dance from around the world.

Gurvinder Sandher, Director of Cohesion Plus, said: “I am really pleased with how the Maidstone Mela has developed. The Mela has evolved from a one-day celebration of music, food and dance to one which celebrates the diversity of Maidstone over several months.

“The launch is an excellent example of how young people are now involved and this year’s launch will be the biggest to date. I believe the work we are doing in Maidstone is a beacon for other parts of the country and is an excellent example of how the arts can be used to promote community cohesion.”

For further information visit  www.cohesionplus.com

Dance at Mela 2009

One of the most exciting aspects of the Maidstone Mela is the different dance forms performed at the event. The 2009 Mela saw many varieties of dance entertain audiences.

The Mandy Ellen Performing Arts School performed contemporary dances fusing soft piano melodies with hard edge street beats. The male and female dancers dressed in black dance clothes swayed on the stage with intrinsic dance moves and steps. Projecting modern forms of dance and street style moves in their act.

The dance school is based in Maidstone and encourages local participation. In 2008, the school formed Hip Hop crews and competed in their first regional competition and came 3rd. Some of the performers from the were lucky enough to reach the Live Semi Finals of Britains Got Talent on ITV1 in 2008 and 2009 which is such a fabulous achievement.

Bhangra dancing was performed on stage by Dhol and Dhaki Fusion featuring the 4×4 Dancers, who performed to music from Michael Jackson to traditional dhol beats of the Punjab. The Bhangra dancing was accompanied by numerous dhol players and a singer on stage singing folklore songs to the loud beats.

Bollywood dancing was performed by girls from Mahua Arts. They performed to Bollywood hits like ‘Nach Leh,’ ‘Duhai Hai Duhai’ and ‘Dhola Re’ from Devdas.

The Kent Indian Dance Academy dancer Priya performed a classical and traditional Bharatanatyam dance. Nepalese and Greek communities and even a Gothic Morris dance troop performed too.

Diversity dominates Mela 2009

More than 10,000 people attended the 2009 Maidstone Mela, which celebrated the diversity of the borough through music, food and dance. The Mela was organised in partnership by Maidstone Borough Council and North West Kent Racial Equality Council.

As well as exciting acts on stage, there were more than 60 stalls ranging from diverse local community organisations such as the Finnish Community Association, Congo Action, Voluntary Action Maidstone and Dawn Patrol Rotary Club to public sector agencies such as Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue, the Environment Agency and HM Prison Service, as well as a special Maidstone Borough Council information village.

The previous Mayor Elect of Maidstone, Morel D’Souza, himself Goan, is married to Karin who is from Finland, and they were both promoting diversity of cultures as part of the Finish Community Association, present at the Mela.

For children there was a range of fairground attractions and activities such as dhol drumming workshops, which proved to be very popular.

One of the great things at a mela that brings people together is food. And the food stalls at the Maidstone Mela were a big hit with dishes from Finland, Britain, India, China, Poland, Thailand and Greece.

Jassi Sidhu rocks Maidstone Mela 2009

The 7th Maidstone Mela proved to be a great success. For the first time with the help of funding form Arts Council England the Mela took place over 2 days.

The Mela Night featured Bhangra Star Jassi Sidhu who performed with his full live band. He wooed the crowd with a string of his hits from over the last decade. Although the majority of the crowd would not have understood the lyrics Jassi managed to create a positive interaction with them and by the end many of them were dancing along to the bhangra beat.

Jassi was followed on stage by Mercury a Queen Tribute Band who proved to be as equally popular. In addition to the live performances plus there was an amazing light installation by Emergency Exit Arts which had been commissioned by Cohesion Plus.