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Fearless Nadia

Media Release: August 15, 2013 in Dance, Film & Television, Music, Theatre |

Parramasala Festival presents
Fearless Nadia
An Indian Australian film + music collaboration steeped in history
Riverside Theatre Saturday October 5 and Sunday October 6 at 7.30pm
Ben Walsh and The Orkestra of the Underground with special guests: Aneesh
Pradhan (Tabla, Dholak) Sangeet Mishra (Sarangi) Sudhir Nayak (Harmonium) Vinod Prasanna (Flutes) & Shruti Ghosh (dancer)

Orchestra in front of movie screen

click on image for hi-res download

For two exhilarating nights at the Riverside Theatre, renowned Australian drummer Ben Walsh will front a dynamic international orchestra for an adrenaline charged musical celebration of a silent era film goddess the Australian born Bollywood superstar known as Fearless Nadia.

A 12-strong coalition of Australian and Indian musicians will perform his energetic, percussive, original score. As they pay tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema and the screen queen’s feats, audiences can expect them to throw in a few unexpected acrobatic displays of their own.

Fearless Nadia, Australia’s first Bollywood icon (Mary Evans from Perth) was one of the brightest lights of 1930s and 40s Bombay cinema. A former circus performer, she came to dominate India’s silver screens with her roguish charm, beauty and swashbuckling, death defying stunts.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris said: “Fearless Nadia is an extraordinary story about Australia’s first Bollywood icon. It will be the first time that the event will be seen in Sydney. The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, is delighted to support this wonderful event which is part of the 2013 Parramasala festival.”

The action-packed montage of scenes from one of Nadia’s most renowned films, Diamond Queen (1940), has been transferred from its nitrate original to digital, and lovingly edited by Ben Walsh.

“I have loved the world of the silent film as it lends itself to the potency of live music” said director, Ben Walsh.

Fearless Nadia includes passages for solo tabla composed by Aneesh Pradhan. The Orkestra of the Underground are Ben Walsh, Sandy Evans, Shenton Gregory, Bobby Singh, Greg Sheehan, Sangeet Mishra, Sudhir Nayak, Aneesh Pradahn, Vinod Prasanna, Kim O’Sullivan, Matt Ottignon, Eden Ottignon and Daniel Pliner.

The ensemble features the sounds of the tabla, sarangi, dholak, Indian flutes and harmonium combined with the trumpet, drums, violin, clarinet and more to make up a spectacular soundscape. Dancer, Shruti Ghosh also features in the live performance.

“This is a wonderful paean to Bollywood and a great night of music” says Festival Director, David Malacari “Nadia’s biffing and boffing of assorted baddies is great fun but the music turns it into a must-see event that was a huge success in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood.”

  • Venue: Riverside Theatre, Parramatta
  • Dates: Saturday October 5 & Sunday October 6 at 7.30pm
  • Bookings: Full event information will be released in early September

Fearless Nadia will be presented as part of the Melbourne Festival on Sunday
October 13

Press Contact

Emma Collison Publicity M 0418 584 795