“I have had my invitation to this world’s festival, and thus my life has been blessed… It was my part at this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could…”
Conceived and directed by Caroline Tabah, The Garden of Love, which closed the Asian Heritage Festival of Montreal, was held on May 24, 2008 at the Studio Just for Laughs. The event raised funds which were given to Asha for Education, a secular organization dedicated to provide education to underprivileged children in India.
The Garden of Love was a colourful evening presented in two parts: in the first part, a performance of discovery, exploring the diversity of ‘flowers’ from the rich and fabulous garden that India is. During that journey, travelling through different regions of India, the great perfumes of those wonderful flowers were expressed through dance and music. The event featured dancers and musicians of international renown: Kathak dance with the dancer and choreographer Sudeshna Maulik, Indian classical song with the great singer Vinay Bhide, Bollywood dance with the Bollywood Blast troupe, a choreography inspired by Persian dance and Indian classical dances with the dancer and choreographer Manijeh Ali from Silken Dance, The Whirling Dervishes from the Naqshbandi Sufi Center of Montreal, the Bhangra dance troupe Gabroo Punjab Dey, oriental fusion dance with Sanaa Dance troupe, and other surprises like the famous musicians of The Dhol Foundation.
And there is Love, always Love… even the one that emanated from the words of great Indian authors such as Rabindranath Tagore and Kabir. And also the Love that exists in the heart of the Indian popular cinema that we call Bollywood.
In the second part of the evening, people were invited to dance, in a warm and happy energy where they were travelling between images of India, Bollywood music, and other music inspired by Indian sounds and vibes, with the special participation of VJ Kid and VJ Athanore.
A special evening, marked with video projections of song and dance segments from Bollywood movies, immersing the crowd in the magic of this cinema. The Garden of Love was an evening in which we found different cultural aspects of India: its music, dances, poetry, and images… And its love of the sacred, of devotion, love of the image and sound, love of the dream, and love of the emotion…
Let’s celebrate! Let’s embrace life!
Photos by André Bergeron.