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15 August 2016

The Confluence Festival of India opens tonight in Melbourne, with a host of performances, exhibitions and events taking place throughout August, September and October.

The Kalakshetra Foundation, 'Jatayu Moksham'

The Kalakshetra Foundation, 'Jatayu Moksham'

Timed to coincide with the 70th Indian Independence Day celebrations, the festival will open with a performance by India's best-loved Odissi dancer, Sujata Mohapatra. Performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre this evening, Mohapatra dances to live music that sings of love, secular & divine, based on the Gita Govinda, the love story of Krishna & Radha.

The Festival of India continues in September with an exhibition by architect Bijoy Jain, the acclaimed head of Studio Mumbai that has been selected to design the 2017 MPavillion. An exhibition of Studio Mumbai's work and inspirations for MPavilion will be displayed at RMIT Gallery in Melbourne from Friday 9 September.

Later in the season, audiences can enjoy performances from acclaimed Indian theatre companies including the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust  and The Company Theatre, which brings a vibrant adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to Deakin Edge at Federation Square oon Tuesday 20 September.

Lovers of India music should not miss festival appearances by Raghu Dixit (often hailed as India's biggest cultural & musical export), sarod player Dr Andrew McNeil and multi-award winning singer and composer Sonam Kalra with The Sufi Gospel Project.

The Confluence Festival is the most significant showcase of Indian arts and culture ever to be staged in Australia, taking place in seven cities across the country between August and November 2016. The festival aims to foster bilateral ties with India, with various joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists.

The Confluence Festival of India is in Melbourne until Sunday 30 October.

Visit the festival website for details