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Masala! Mehndi! Masti! at Harbourfront Centre
Wednesday August 3 through Sunday August 7, 2005

Free admission events for all ages!

Multiple venues (including the CIBC Stage)
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada

Info: 416-973-4000 or
Masala! Mehndi! Masti! (M!M!M!) is back for a fifth fabulous free admission year at Harbourfront Centre. From August 3 to 7, 2005  M!M!M! will bring Toronto the best in contemporary South Asian culture from Canada and across the globe!

This internationally acclaimed festival opens on Wednesday evening August 3 at the CIBC Stage with the free movie Bride and Prejudice. This special event will be hosted by director Gurinder Chadha! Thursday August 4 signals the start of a second Brit invASIAN, this time featuring a concert by internationally recognized UK Bhangra scene performers Rhythm, Dhol and Bass (RDB).

A multitude of events in music, dance, film, theatre, visual arts and more are joined by provocative panels and succulent South Asian dishes to create the largest festival of its kind in North America. Beginning Friday evening August 5 through Sunday August 7 this vast array of events include Canadian music debuts for U.S. tabla girl Tina Sugandh and for twin sitar playing sensations Sonal & Simrit Mann (India). Dance includes the world premier of a work by internationally renowned artist Sukalyan Bhattacharya and the North American debut of the Rajasthani folk music and dance ensemble KERAP. Other highlights include the Canadian debut of US theatre duo Kalapani and a tribute to internationally celebrated Pakistani Urdu poet Sohail Rana (who now lives in Toronto and who will be present at the tribute).

Masala! Mehndi! Masti! events take place at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto. For information on the festival the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit online at and

Masala! Mehndi! Masti! highlights:

MUSIC:  The second Brit InvASIAN concert features UK's RDB (Rhythm, Dhol and Bass)! Three brothers (Manj, Nindy and Mitch Hyare) diversify their sounds to include desi classical and underground urban vibes. RDB recently collaborated on a track with Elephant Man and on mainstream tracks with US rappers 4Eyz (from Luducris's crew) and Yukhmouth (from the Luniz). This year’s also introduces the U.S. tabla girl Tina Sugandh (who has caught the attention of producers for Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Nelly Furtado). Her recently released Hollywood Records Debut emanates exotic South Asian rhythms.
A rare live concert of traditional Afghani classical music will be performed by Ottawa's Mushfiq Ensemble. The twin sensations, Sonal and Simrit Mann, come all the way from India to perform jungalbandhi on the sitar for the first time in North America. M!M!M! pays tribute in concert to Sohail Rana - an artist who’s known as one of the most popular music makers for the younger generation of the 70s and 80s. Rana is recognized for his compositions for many pop stars in Pakistan and will be at the tribute in person! >From the deserts of India is KERAP - an authentic Rajasthani folk music and dance ensemble. Popular in Europe, KERAP (headed by Bilal Khan) makes its North American Premiere at M!M!M! 2005!

Bringing it back to Toronto, Tricycle bring an organic, quirky and adventurous approach to Jazz music as part of M!M!M!’s When Cultures Collide showcase. The quartet will present sounds drawn on the deep musical traditions of North India.
This year’s special M!M!M! festival finale ends with a blast... the ever popular Bhangra Blast! Feel the beats of the Dhol fuse with contemporary styles performed by musicians, dancers and DJs, for two and a half hours of pure festival finale fun!
DANCE:  Another exciting M!M!M! When Cultures Collide showcase presents the world premiere of Toma Que Toma. This Flamenco and Kathak fusion incorporates music and dance with original compositions by Jorge Miguel - a Spanish Canadian Flamenco guitarist and group leader. An international M!M!M! returning artist and choreographer, Sukalyan Bhattacharya and his entourage, present the world premiere of Down Memory Lane. This dance collage is an experimental composition weaving various film songs to create a new innovative and contemporary dance experience.
Great dance performances are also presented at the Kalanidhi Dance Festival showcase. Kalanidhi presents accomplished Indian dance artists and organizations from Canada, India and various other countries. Three organizations represent Kalanidhi at M!M!M! 2005. Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Canada’s oldest Indian dance company exposes audiences to the beauty of traditional Indian dance. Dr. Alakananda combines Bharatanatayam classical dance, Carnatic vocal music and Sanskrit literature. Returning to M!M!M! is Bageshree Vase, as VYBEZ. She will perform a dynamic exposition of rhythm and melody with tabla artist, Vineet Vyas, while wowing the audience with her singing and dancing. Also, bring your dancing shoes and start practicing for the M!M!M! Dance-Off! This challenge is open to all dance companies. More details TBA.
FILM: Filmi's sixth annual South Asian Film Festival is proud to present the 2005 Oscar Nominated Film by Asvhin Kumars, Little Terrorist. A tale about a 10 year old boy, Jamal (from Pakistan), who mistakenly crosses the border between India and Pakistan. Best Short Film nominee at the 2005 British Academy Film Awards - Elephant Boy is the story of a beggar boy who embarks on a spiritual journey after losing his love and his home. Filmi's annual festival presents more than 18 hours of short films, documentaries and features throughout the festival.
VISUAL ARTS:  Presented by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Collective) the Street Art Inspirits exhibition presents local and international artists whose works focus on street art and/or street iconography in all its urban assortment and fervor. Corporate logos, global brands, film hoardings, posters, billboards, vehicles, street signs, graffiti, and the common street scene serve as expressive stimulation for these artists. Street Art Inspirits artists include: Anjali Bhargava (New York), Vandana Jain (New York), Ram Rahman (Delhi/New York), MSC Satya Sai (Delhi), Ashek Sakhawat (Toronto) and Meera Sethi (Toronto). As well, posters by ten selected artists from Aar Paar 2, a public exchange project between India and Pakistan will be presented. Selected artists include: Roohi Ahmed (Karachi), Shez Dawood (London), Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai), N.S. Harsha (Mumbai), Tushar Joag (Mumbai), Jitish Kallat (Mumbai), Naiza Khan (Karachi), Riyas Komu (Mumbai), Kausik Mukhapadhya (Mumbai),and Sumaira Tazeen (Karachi). M!M!M! has an opening for Street Arts Inspirits August 5 (7 to 10 p.m.) and the exhibition is open for viewing throughout the festival.
SOCIAL ISSUES SEMINARS: Expand intellectual horizons with the Chillin’ in Your Brown Skin Collective, comprising of four ethno-specific community based organizations. The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAP), The South Asian Women’s Centre (SAWC) and The South Asian Legal Clinic (SALCO) present a series of panel talks/activities to raise the profile of social justice issues within the South Asian community.
NATURAL HEALTH PRACTICES: On August 6 seminars and workshops run throughout the day. Noted practitioners and educators of natural health and wellbeing activities will be featured with lessons on how to adopt them into your lifestyle.
THEATRE:  The fourth annual South Asian Theatre Festival is programmed by Maya Theatre and features Kalapani - all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico! Kalapani is a two woman (one Trinidadian and one Punjabi) group addressing the South Asian Diaspora. Kalapani is about the colonial conditions in India that led to the duping of and eventual crossing of the middle passage (the Kalapani) of the East Indian indentured laborers who migrated to the Caribbean. Imminent Imaginations will be tribute to one of Canada’s most creative playwrights, Al-Noor Peera, will be showcased in memory of and appreciation for his hard work in creating a foundation for professional South Asian theatre artists in Toronto.
Spoken word showcases feature artists in dub, hip-hop, poetry, movement and music. Indigenous voices unite diverse voices from all across South Asian Diaspora to expel the works of the dynamic theatre works presented in our community. Look out for the rising stars of tomorrow in the youth workshop, where young performers present theatre over a two-week scene study, improvisation, and rehearsal period about their identity as South Asians in Toronto. If you enjoy storytelling, puppeteering and mime, then be sure to check out the charisma of puppets and their masters, as never seen before.
RESTAURANT and BAZAAR: Masala! Mehndi! Masti! will work up your appetite with some of the very best Indian treats, snacks and foods at your avail. Enjoy all types of culinary delights that will leave your mouth watering for more!

Masala! Mehndi! Masti! is co-produced by Satya Arts Association and Harbourfront Centre and is generously supported by Magic Feet Canada, Heritage Canada, Ontario Arts Council, British Council.

For a full listing of events at Masala! Mehndi! Masti! visit and

More events TBA. We are currently confirming interviews. Jpegs and CDs are available.

For more summer info and festival releases go to

For further information on Harbourfront Centre Summer festivals call 416-973-4000 or visit

Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
Pooja Narang, 416-686-9165,
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