Preston Mela to celebrate city's rich cultural heritage

Traditional Indian string puppets imitating court entertainment, saree draping and Bollywood dancing are set to thrill visitors to Preston Mela.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 4:54 pm
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 5:54 pm
Diana Bayliss of the Black Cat Theatre Puppetry will be giving a Katputli performance

The annual festival, which returns to the Flag Market on Saturday, celebrates the rich cultural heritage of people living in Preston.

A spokesman for the event, which runs 11am-4pm, said: “Mela provides the perfect cohesion and participation setting by creating an opportunity where communities and people of all ages can come together to have fun and learn.

"This unique, colourful and free event aims to promote meaningful integration and interaction between the diverse groups within Preston and Lancashire.”

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Diana Bayliss of the Black Cat Theatre Puppetry will be giving a Katputli performance at 12pm and 1pm. Promotional material states: “In the rich setting of an Indian Palace, the guests arrive for the Maharaja’s birthday and the entertainment begins with beautiful hand carved puppets, colourful cloths and dynamic music.

“Kathputli is an ancient and popular form of folk entertainment still performed in the desert land of Rajasthan in North India.

“In this variety performance traditional Indian string puppets imitate the court entertainment once given in the courts of the Maharaja’s of Rajasthan.

"There is a snake charmer with his deadly cobra, camels, horses, gorgeous dancers, a juggler, acrobat and more.”

A fusion of Morris dancing and Bharatanatyam will treat onlookers to Morris-Natyam with music which has been specially composed to bring English folk and Indian classical music together.