Salford arts organisation Walk the Plank is staging a virtual programme of events celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali to create a cultural connection for everyone.
Walk the Plank is one of the world’s leading and award-winning outdoor arts specialists with 27 years’ experience.
But, due to the current circumstances, Walk the Plank are creating digital programmes with support from Arts Council England and Greater Manchester Combined Authorities and its focus this month is on Diwali.
Creative producer Nick Clarke said: “It’s a connection for everyone to celebrate the Hindu festival of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
“It is for everybody and I think it’s really important that these things are happening to support communities and offer some respite to the challenges that everyone’s facing.
“It’s more important now than ever for us all to find new ways to come together, and our event Digital Diwali provides something for everyone.”
This programme will be streamed live across the internet from November 5-15, but will also be recorded.
The aim is also to promote wellbeing and relaxation at a time where a lot of people are really stressed.
In partnership with Bolton Hindu Forum, Bury Met and Indian Association Oldham there will also be 500 lanterns distributed across homes in those areas.
Hundreds of households will be encouraged to take to their doorstep to light their lanterns at 7.30pm on the main night of Diwali which is November 14.
Producer Raj Dutta who has worked with Nick for the past 13 years, says: “It’s going to be really good.
“It means a lot, because in the current situation, we can’t do outdoor events – so it will be different but still very nice to watch and enjoy.”
This programme will include the following:
- Ten days of stories – the Diwali story told through the eyes of Hanuman. (6yrs +).
- Classical and contemporary dance and music, from artist around the UK and India.
- A community performance programme.
- Dance and Music workshops over Zoom.
- Carnatic (classical South Indian) story telling vocal music.
- Morning and Evening Raaga concerts.
- A fiery spectacle featuring stories from the Ramayana.
Mr Clarke said: “For us to not be able to produce outdoor events this year is obviously disappointing.
“We didn’t want to say we can’t do anything so we’ve been working hard to include everyone and make them feel like they can connect with the world.
“Especially with the times we’re in now, it’s really important that people can feel like they can re-connect in some way with people – through this people will have the opportunity to actually be on the internet and say hello to their loved ones who they haven’t been able to see and have that reconnection.”
Mrs Dutta added: “It’s much better when you can celebrate it with other people which is not possible this year, but lots of people will be watching the programme together so there will be a feeling of togetherness in that sense.”
People are encouraged to make videos and take pictures on their phone and forward them through to their community organisation.