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Sufi music and dance to be celebrated at star-studded festival

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ORGANISER: Zaffar Tanweer is the brains behind the festival

ORGANISER: Zaffar Tanweer is the brains behind the festival 

A Muslim celebration of music and dance in the Sufi tradition is set to become a permanent feature on Bradford's cultural calendar.

Saif-ul-Maluk is an allegorical book of poetry from one of the best-loved sufi saints – Mian Mohammad Bakhsh.

This year the third Saif-ul-Maluk Festival is all set to take place at the beautiful Alhambra theatre over two days, and will feature a music concert boasting hugely popular A-list artists from the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

Organiser Zaffar Tanweer hopes to make the Saif-ul-Maluk conference and festival an indelible feature of Bradford's cultural calendar, a city which has been a strong contender for capital of culture, and is home to one of the most diverse populations anywhere in the country.

FESTIVAL: Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans performing at tha previous festival

FESTIVAL: Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans performing at tha previous festival


"We would like Bradfordians to embrace this event of love peace and respect for all faiths colours and creeds as taught by the great Sufi thinkers of the world," he said.

"Mian Mohammad Baksh who wrote the poetry more than a century ago is a highly respected thinker and an equally loved poet among Bradford's Asian communities. His message of love for all has never been needed as much as it is in today's world."

The festival will comprise of two sessions of discussion and music, and will feature prominent scholars, world famous singers Hans Raj Hans and Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan, and will introduce new, home-grown talent.

Fusion of cultures: Welsh and Indian cultural exchange receives £450K Government Funding

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FUSION OF CULTURES: Indian Honorary Consul to Wales Raj Aggarwal with Carwyn Jones and dancers at the Diwali event last year

FUSION OF CULTURES: Indian Honorary Consul to Wales Raj Aggarwal with Carwyn Jones and dancers at the Diwali event last year


Eleven arts projects will get funding to take Welsh culture to India as part of the UK-India 2017 cultural season.

Welsh and Indian creative professionals will travel to each other's countries to work together and produce new works including books, music and dance.

The projects will get a share of the £450,000 India Wales Fund.

It is a joint Wales Arts International and British Council scheme, which aims to help build relationships between the two countries.

Performances will take place in India and Wales and some of the work will be available online, with artists and audiences in both countries benefiting from workshops, tours and talks.

Indian Honorary Consul to Wales, Raj Aggarwal, said: "Wales and India share a love of music, dancing, theatre and literature so this cultural exchange is a fantastic opportunity for each country to share the heritage of each other's performing arts.

"A collaboration of Welsh, English and Bengali writers will bring together the works of six writers with live performance and the publication of a new tri-lingual work.

"This is an amazing opportunity not just to see and enjoy the other country's culture and talent, but to actually work together to create a hybrid from the two that fuse our nation's cultures in the future."

The projects include: Theatr Iolo will work with ThinkArts, an Indian company that produces arts events for children, to develop new theatre for babies and youngsters

Parthian Books will work with India's Bee Books on their project Through the Valley, City, Village, which will see Indian and Welsh writers working together in Bengal and Wales to produce a new book

Welsh theatre company Living Pictures will tour India with their production Diary of a Madman, working with Indian company QTP Entertainment to provide technical skills workshops - a performance will take place at the Tata Steel-sponsored Literature Live event in Mumbai.

The full list of selected projects will be announced at the Wales Millennium Centre by Economy Secretary Ken Skates.

He said: "The UK-India Year of Culture 2017 offers an important opportunity for Wales and India to refresh and strengthen these links and also to create new dynamic connections and creative collaborations.”