Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 15:54 UK

Edinburgh Mela programme unveiled

Edinburgh Mela
The Edinburgh Mela will run from 25-31 August

The world premier of a group showcasing South Asian and Scottish music and Japanese Taiko drumming will feature at a multi-cultural festival in Edinburgh.

Yatra//Journey will be at the Mela Festival, which features dance, music and theatre in the city's Leith area.

The Scottish Government's expo fund has given 41,492 towards the event which is Scotland's biggest annual multicultural arts festival.

The week-long festival runs between 25-31 August.

Yatra//Journey will be performing at the Mela's new location at the waterfront beside Ocean Terminal in Leith on 30 and 31 August and feature artists from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow's Indian music specialists Adeo Records and the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, who are based in central Scotland.

International talent

The festival will feature film and theatre for the first time, as well as favourites such as the ladies-only night and a fashion show.

Film screenings will take place in the shopping mall. A big top set up beside Ocean terminal will host an aerial circus act and the rhythms of India and Pakistan will be joined by those from Japan and Africa, among others.

Announcing the funding, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said: "Scotland's biggest intercultural event, the Edinburgh Mela, is a wonderful celebration of our nation's cultural diversity and an integral part of Edinburgh's world renowned festivals.

"Featuring a dazzling array of dance, theatre, music, food and performance, Mela 2008 is sure to be a huge success with a host of local and international talent on show for visitors to enjoy."

Mela director Liam Sinclair said: "We believe that it is the first time the musical cultures of Japanese Taiko drumming, Scottish traditional music and Indian music have been brought together and are sure that the results, when performed at the Mela Festival, will be electrifying."


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