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Mohan Nadkarni Foundation, Auckland Indian Association partner to launch performing arts centre


Mohan Nadkarni Foundation Secretary Dev Nadkarni, High Commissioner of India in New Zealand HE Muktesh Pardeshi, Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon and Auckland Indian Association President Dhansukh Lal at the inauguration of CIPA on August 15 2021 at the Mahatma Gandhi centre in Auckland.


A first of its kind facility dedicated to fostering and promoting Indian performing arts has been launched in Auckland under the aegis of the Auckland Indian Association Inc and the Mohan Nadkarni Foundation.


The facility is called CIPA – Centre for Indian Performing Arts – and was inaugurated on the evening of the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of Indian Independence Day, 15 August, at the Auckland Indian Association’s Mahatma Gandhi Centre by High Commissioner of India to New Zealand HE Muktesh Pardeshi. Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon was also present along with Mrs Dhillon.


In his welcome address and opening remarks President of the Auckland Indian Association Dhansukh Lal said that the Association has always promoted Indian culture and arts over decades but CIPA would give structure and a concerted effort to its promotion in a systematic manner.


Formally inaugurating CIPA, High Commissioner Mr Pardeshi said a facility such as CIPA was much needed and that the High Commission of India was supportive of this joint community effort between the two charitable organisations to promote India’s rich and varied heritage of arts and culture.


Immediate past-President Narendra Bhana welcomed the idea and said a facility like CIPA could play a vital role in bringing communities and performing artistes together to perpetuate Indian culture through its many forms of performing arts, giving a creative outlet to teachers and students of Indian arts in Auckland.


Mr Dhillon introduced Dev Nadkarni, who leads CIPA, as one who as well as being a journalist, was deeply involved in the propagation of classical and traditional performing arts of India through the Mohan Nadkarni Foundation.


He welcomed the idea of a facility dedicated to Indian performing arts situated at a location like the Mahatma Gandhi Centre and congratulated both the Auckland Indian Association and the Mohan Nadkarni Foundation for coming together to form CIPA.


Introducing the concept and functioning of CIPA-Centre for Indian Performing Arts, Dev Nadkarni, who is also Indian Weekender’s Editor-at-Large said, “CIPA brings together the performing arts knowledge and experience of Mohan Nadkarni Foundation and the community leadership, heritage and organisational infrastructure of Auckland Indian Association to bring a unique offering to Kiwi Indians.”


The Mohan Nadkarni Foundation is a NZ registered charity that has been promoting Indian classical and popular music, dance and theatre and also finding platforms for performance for young artistes since 2015. The Foundation has held several collaborative projects with musicians, music schools and international artistes over the years. It has also hosted well known artistes of international standing here in Auckland.


CIPA will progressively offer spaces and facilities to perform and learn traditional and modern expressive arts like vocal and instrumental music, traditional and modern dance forms, theatre, innovative and collaborative projects between artistes across genres and digital media projects involving Indian performing arts.


“The idea is to build a facility and a platform to encourage creative projects among performing artists from among the Indian diaspora as well as collaborations with other performing art forms from different milieus,” Mr Nadkarni said.


“There is a considerable depth and variety of talent in New Zealand and there are dedicated teachers willing to share their knowledge. CIPA fulfils the need for a central facility in a convenient location in Auckland.”


At the conclusion of the launch, High Commissioner Mr Pardeshi announced a grant of $10,000 to CIPA from the Government of India.


The launch was part of a dinner hosted by the Auckland Indian Association for leaders of the Indian diaspora organisations in New Zealand.