OzAsia Festival Review: Silk Road Caravanserai

The Silk Road is the name given to the old trading routes which connected Western Europe with the Far East. Taking in such modern-day countries as Iran, Turkmenistan and Nepal, the route was marked by caravanserai: resting and meeting places for weary travellers.

By
Overall
3.5

Presented by Persian Cultural Association of SA

Reviewed 19th October 2019

The Silk Road is the name given to the old trading routes which connected Western Europe with the Far East. Taking in such modern-day countries as Iran, Turkmenistan and Nepal, the route was marked by caravanserai: resting and meeting places for weary travellers.

In this concert, Adelaide community groups representative of many of the countries on the route, put together performances of music and dance imbued with cultural history. With the Silk Road Ensemble as backing, front performers changed for each number, allowing for a diverse range of instruments and vocal styles. Some pieces of work were written especially for this performance, including the opening number, and a wonderful piece showcasing the different percussion instruments.

Highlights of this concert included Persian belly-dancers, Himalayan singing and the Ukrainian dance troupe. For over two hours, the interest never lagged, and each piece was a journey into the culture of a land.

Although the concert itself was well put-together, there were some issues. The projected slides looked amateurish, there was some poor sound mixing, and stage management struggled to get performers on and off stage smoothly. All these hiccups made this concert feel like a community fund-raiser, rather than a slick, professional performance.

Despite this, the Silk Road Caravanserai Concert was a worthy addition to this year’s OzAsia Festival. It was a highly entertaining introduction to the astonishing cultural diversity in our midst. A splendid idea, it will be great to see it recreated next year, with some of the wrinkles ironed out.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Venue: Festival Theatre
Season: Finished

Rating out of 5: 3.5 stars Diverse

@TraceyKorsten

@OzAsiaFestival

#OzAsia

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