Sandie Toksvig provided comic relief between performances but the real stars were the singers who really welcomed the rest of the performers from round the world, with a variety of music ranging from classic choral pieces to interpretations of 80’s pop! The festival continued to entertain through performances and workshops throughout the bank holiday weekend – I was only sorry I didn’t have time to see more.
However, there was another equally impressive and ambitious Inspire mark festival launching this weekend in the shape of the 'Origins' festival, a celebration of the work of First Nations artists.
Origins brings groundbreaking artists from the indigenous cultures of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA to London for the first time to explore the cultures of first nations who have often been displaced from the land by Imperial powers.
The festival itself is a fascinating look at the stories of those nations through film, theatre, debates and comedy, and is truly thought-provoking, challenging the way we think about those cultures in the modern world.
So Monday afternoon saw me shivering under my umbrella in the Scoop at City Hall listening to Pete Postlewaite open the event and waiting for colourful performances from New Zealand Maori tribes people who’ve made their home in London; an Inuit Mask dancer; and an impressively dressed Red Indian complete with traditional flute and feathered head dress.
The Maori welcome to other Maori who had travelled across the globe to take part in the festival was beautiful, touching and lots of fun as we were all invited to say ‘Kia Ore’ to the First Nations and rub noses in the traditional way to kick off the festival!
There are events taking place until 17th May so it’s just a case of finding time to fit them all in for me now...