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Popular Global Village returns to Village Green

3rd July 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

As part of the 10th Village Green Festival, Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP) will host the Global Village a world music and dance stage, showcasing the best of the local diverse talent along with national and international artists. 

Over the last 8 years ECDP has been working with Metal on developing the Global Village stage with local business sponsorship from Atlantic Pacific logistics. The Global Village stage has now expanded into a Global Arena with additional bolted-on activities which include Global Village Plus, food and henna stalls along with participation and engagement workshops from Chinese calligraphy to flower making, culinary arts to djembe drumming.

The focus of the Global Village this year is the Caravanserai: using two traditions of travelling performers as a starting point, Caravanserai will explore circus, dance, music, folklore and storytelling within a contemporary theatrical context, culminating into a showcase spectacle.

Caravanserai is a stopping place; an inn defined by a central courtyard for travellers in the desert regions of Asia. They existed along the Silk Road and became cultural hubs through which stories and various art forms travelled and transformed between cultures from village to village. Similarly, another form of travelling culture existed: From the 1600’s until the mid-nineteenth century, groups of actors and acrobats known as Troubadours toured the region bringing theatre and arts to the people. 

The highlight of the Global Village will be the internationally renowned Circus Raj from Rajasthan, India. A rural touring village circus with music and dance will thrill audiences with their tight rope walks, acrobats and stunts. The circus will be joined by Colchester Chinese Society who will perform dance routine from China, and Southend based arts organisation Brazilarte, and Dance Afrik. The ever-popular Bollywood act returns to Global Village, a regular feature that has engaged with all ages from young to old.

The Global Village Plus will feature the Arts in Transit van by artists Lata Upadhyaya, a mobile performing arts space that will host culinary arts with guest chef Paul Singh Babra from Canterbury Curry Club and Vibha Osbon from Madras Café.  Harlow based Ghanaian artists Efua Sey will join the van in providing African Djembe and dance workshops. The Arts in Transit Van will travel to Chelmsford Fling Festival in July and Norfolk and Punjab festival in August.

25 flag bearers from Kinetika will join the activity in the arena through a Global Procession from Chalkwell House to Global Village with a combined troupe of artists representing Brazil, Ghana, China, India, Congo for a grand finale along with drums, silk flags and puppets.

ECDP Creative Director, Indi Sandhu said:

‘This year’s Global Village will the largest gathering of different nationalities all coming together to perform and showcase their talent and be part of the 10th anniversary of Village Green. It is a great privilege for me to be programming and producing the Global Village Arena through which we can engage with the local diverse communities in Southend.’ 

Global Village has been supported through funding from Arts Council England, Southend Council and sponsorship from Atlantic Pacific Logistics. 

Tickets for Village Green are on sale now. As in previous years, 500 free tickets are available to holders of Southend Council’s Advantage Card C. These can be picked up from the Southend Borough Council reception – just have your Advantage Card C ready to show.

Image: Metal