‘This spirituality liberates you’: Sufi superstar Abida Parveen set to transport Melbourne

The devotional singer is known to move audiences to a higher plane. Meeting her in Melbourne, Ben Eltham writes, time went all bendy and loose Sufi superstar Abida Parveen a giant of world music is an arresting presence. Dressed in flowing robes and scarf, her hair a mass of handsome dark curls, she seems to carry a little bubble of grace around with her despite being anchored by pink sneakers. Best known for her command of the ghazal, kafi and qawwali classic forms of Sufi music and poetry the colossal artistic stature of Parveen in her homeland of Pakistan is hard to convey for the western reader. As in 2005, you could find entire neighbourhoods, possibly towns, in Pakistan where …

‘Is this actually dance?’: Australia’s overlooked art form is its most exciting

Melbournes contemporary dance renaissance and a decade of Dance Massive festival go hand in hand Contemporary dance began for me in 2015, midway through a Tim Darbyshire show called Official statistics count it as one of the smaller and more specialised of the performing arts. Dance Massive, Australias largest festival of new contemporary dance, which turns 10 years old this year. Angela Conquet, the artistic director of Melbournes Alongside work by Joel Bray, Karul Projects and Marrugeku, the impressive DubaiKungkaMiyalk brings together a strong line-up of four contemporary choreographers, Mariaa Randall, Henrietta Baird, Carly Sheppard and Ngioka Bunda-Heath, curated by Randall, who is fresh from a well-received show at New Yorks Performance Space. Le Dernier Appel by Marrugeku is among …