5th July 2014

Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2014

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Join the fun at this community festival celebrating South Asian culture and talent!

Star Plus presents Sandwell & Birmingham Mela in association with Lebara Mobile. Come and join the fun at this community festival celebrating South Asian Culture and showcasing talent!
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Stage programme presented by Sampad in partnership with Sandwell & Birmingham Mela and supported by Arts Council England.

Saturday 5 July, Raaj Fm/Sampad stage



Speaking Hands
‘Speaking Hands’ is a collection of gifted musicians from the Midlands. The style of their music is a confluence of traditional and contemporary sounds that ignites warmth, passion and high energy. Being brought up in the UK, ‘Speaking Hands’ bring together music that has been engraved into their souls with influences from Assam, Punjab, Kashmir and Maharashtra. The musicians in this ensemble are:

Rishii Chowdhury – tabla, cajon, percussion
Waqas Choudhary – bansuri
Akash Parekh – sitar and guitar
Gurpreet Singh – sarangi



Rair Dance group
Rair dance group was established in 2008 and their dancing style has evolved as they have experimented in many different types of dancing from contemporary to Bollywood and Giddha. They have performed at many different events, weddings, functions and in competitions. Dancing is a way they can express themselves without words.

Surpreet Rai
Raman Virk



Bollywood Dreams
Based in the West Midlands, Bollywood Dreams specialise in Bollywood Dance. Set up by Artistic Director Reena Tailor 11 years ago, the company provides performances and runs an academy training hundreds of students each week. Bollywood Dreams has performed at some of the UK’s most prestigious locations and worked with many well-known organisations. | Tel: 0845 226 8210



Hina Dancers
Hina Chavda has been dancing since the age of 2 and has trained under Sonia Sabri in Kathak. Hina and Co are a well-established group who train and perform a variety of dance repertoires including Kathak, Classical, Bhangra, Bollywood and Urban Fusion. The group has performed at many prestigious events including, most recently, The Olympic Torch Relays, performances for HRH the Queen, Parade Performing at Disneyland Paris and won first place in the Bollywood Category at Disneyland Paris Dance Showdown.

1pm to 6pm

CRAFT (in the sampad craft marquee)


Eastnor Pottery workshops
Come and make clay elephants with ceramic artist Jon ‘The Flying Potter’ Williams. Take your modelled masterpiece away at the end of the session to dry and paint at home. No previous pottery experience required, just a willingness to get creative with clay and have lots of fun.

Saturday 5 July – Main Stage

12.30pm to 12.50pm


Mendi Singh Trio
Mendi Singh Trio present a dynamic and powerful sound of musical cultures from around the world merging together in harmony to create a universal sound.

The group is led by tabla maestro Mendi Mohinder Singh – a classically trained tabla player and music composer. Mendi is a disciple of the legendary master Ajit Singh Mutlashi. He was born and brought up in Birmingham, UK and has made unprecedented strides in bringing his instrument to a global audience. Mendi has collaborated with Pandit Shalil Shankar, Peter Gabriel, Darius Brubeck, Anand Shankar, Dave O’Higgins, Durga Arya Kruger, Akram Khan, Mavin Khoo, Kepa Junkera, Dan Crary and Ustad Fateh Ali.

Mohinder Singh Mendi – tabla
Leighton Hargreaves – violin
Dan Wilkins – kora (African harp) and guitar

Sunday 6 July – Sampad/Raaj Fm Stage



Hina Dancers
Details as per listing above



Devika Rao
Devika Rao is a passionate and talented Indian Classical Dance performer with a wealth of experience choreographing and dancing across the globe, having performed more than 1,200 times during the past decade alone. Versatile and imaginative, she is capable of producing and performing innovative and modern dance pieces steeped in tradition.She has also undertaken many teaching and workshop projects, giving children and adults access to Indian arts through music and dance.



Magdalen Gorringe
Magdalen Gorringe has studied Bharatanatyam since her childhood in South India. She will perform two dances. First a Sabdam – which is a short narrative dance interspersed with quick bursts of abstract movement. This Sabdam is dedicated to Lord Krishna, and describes how the dancer longs for his attention. It is in Tala Misra Chapu, and Ragamallika.

The second piece is a Kirthanam dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi, a Goddess as skilled in battle and weaponry as she is in the fine arts. The dance describes how she meets her future husband, Lord Siva, on the battlefield. Meenakshi, the fish eyed Goddess, is the mother Goddess of the temple town of Madurai which is where Magdalen grew up. The Kirthanam is in Raga Keeravani and Tala Adi.



Mendi Singh Trio
Details as per listing above


Bollywood Dreams
Details as per listing above

1pm – 5pm

CRAFT (in the sampad craft marquee)

Colin Yates – Paper Lanterns workshop
Details as per listing above

Sunday 6 July – Main Stage

12.10pm — 12.30pm


Mendi Singh Trio
Details as per listing above

All timings are approximate and subject to change