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406 Montague Rd (entrance via Drake Street),
West End QLD 4101

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  • PROGRAM & ARTISTS – into the light

PROGRAM & ARTISTS – into the light

PROGRAM  <text-ampersand>&</text-ampersand> ARTISTS – into the light PROGRAM  <text-ampersand>&</text-ampersand> ARTISTS – into the light



Invocation – Menaka Thomas, Darshil Shah, and dancers Sarah Thompson & Jayden Grogan

Percussion solo – Dheeraj Shrestha and Tsoof Baras

“Dakla” Garba dance – Nishaan Dance Group

Baawariya – Sarah Thompson and Jayden Grogan

Kaushikdhvani – Menaka Thomas, Dheeraj Shrestha, Tsoof Baras, Darshil Shah & Meg Burstow

Milan – Jayden Grogan

Menaka Thomas and Meg Burstow


On the Horizon – Menaka Thomas, Tsoof Baras and Meg Burstow

Sarah Thompson & Jayden Grogan

Zara Zara – Dheeraj Shrestha, Tsoof Baras, Darshil Shah and Meg Burstow

Shiddat – NIsshan Dancers

Ram Ram Bhajamana – All musicians

Feel the Joy (finale) – All musicians and dancers


BEMAC Producer Menaka Thomas is a Brisbane-based singer, songwriter, and teacher who performs a fusion of traditional Indian vocals with contemporary and other world influences, an intersection of East and West.

As a singer, Menaka has featured on many musical platforms, including Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland Multicultural Festival, Festival of Tibet, BrisAsia Festival and the Anywhere Festival. Menaka is also one of the featured cast members for Brisbane Powerhouse’s “Women In Voice” for 2022. Menaka’s music has been highly commended in the world music category of the Queensland Music Awards on several occasions, alongside musical collaborators.

Meg Burstow is a versatile Brisbane-based pianist who enjoys a diverse career as a performer, accompanist, and educator.  A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University where she studied both Classical and Jazz Piano, Meg was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Conservatorium Medal, as well as the Sid SJ Bromley Jazz Award for Outstanding Student, the Victoria Chalmers Education Award, and the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship.  Meg has extensive experience performing for weddings and corporate events, and is a sought-after session musician in a broad range of styles including jazz, salsa, and pop music.

Internationally acclaimed tabla percussionist Dheeraj Shrestha is recognized as the foremost Nepalese born tabla percussionist in Australia. His easy flowing style of playing tabla, sets him apart from other players of international renown.

The music he contributes is from the Himalayan country, and birthplace of Buddha, Nepal. Dheeraj Shrestha is a founder of Nepalese music ensemble  ‘The Lumbini Circle” and “Rhythm Sutra”.  He has collaborated with the Cat Empire, Lior and Flamenco Indo Jazz, to name but a few. He also has taught the tabla at the QUT, UQ and Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is now teaching at tabla school Rhythms Of The World in Brisbane.

With over 18 years of performance experience and study, Tsoof Baras is a composer, percussionist, drummer, session musician, hand drummer and graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium.  Trained in orchestral percussion, West African and Afro-Cuban hand drumming, Tsoof has performed as a percussionist with the QLD Pops Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Chukale, Spankinhide, Menaka Thomas, Melanie Evans, Simon Gardener and his own corporate drumming ensemble SoundStruck. 

Nishaan is a Dance troupe that brings space to the Arts of Indian Dance, Bollywood and Fusion.  

“For we ignite your stories through Dance “

Dancers :  
Zain Chams Jiona Joy
Annmary Kurian 
Nesha Bz

Darshil Shah is one of the most prominent Bansuri (Bamboo Flute) players in Australia.

Darshil’s core musical roots are from Indian Classical Raga Music, and he loves adding the Hindustani classical music touch.

He has had experience in performing solo and with artists from various musical backgrounds like Raga, Fusion, Jazz, Yoga, Sound healing, Ghazal, Bhajan, Live Theatre, Bollywood, Kathak, Sufi, Qawwali, Western Classical and World Music collaborations.

SARAH THOMPSON is a former Queensland Ballet Company Dancer. In 2008 she was accepted into the Professional Year program and in 2010 was offered a traineeship with the Company, then was promoted to Company Dancer in 2011. In 2016 Sarah took her career to Europe accepting a Soloist contract with the Staatsballett Hannover in Germany. In 2020 Sarah began her teaching career at Sydney Dance Company.

Jayden Grogan has performed professionally across the globe in productions by Opera Australia, Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia, Camerata, and many more. In December 2021, Jayden performed his world premiere one-man show, Jaz & the Big Red Dance Book co-created with Jacqui Carroll for QPAC. For Queensland Ballet’s 60th Anniversary.

Global Fusion Curator and Choreographer RANI LUTHER’S professional career began with the Kiel Ballet Company Germany in 1995 before moving to dance with world-renowned Netherlands Dance Theatre 2 and Netherlands Dance Theatre 1. In 2003 Rani returned home to dance with The Australian Ballet Company then joined Sydney Dance Company in 2007 and retired from stage as a Principal Dancer with Melbourne Ballet Company in 2011.

Rani’s choreographic creations include two works for NDT Workshop performances 2001/2002, Face the Music for Carriageworks Theatre Sydney 2012, Illuminate for MBC Empyrean season 2016 and Outside In for The Sydney Dance Company Pre-Professional season 2017. In 2018 Rani choreographed Lunar for Queensland Ballet’s inaugural season of Synergy and in 2019 Heartstrings for the Australian Ballet Company’s Bodytorque season. In 2020 Rani choreographed From. To. Here for Queensland Ballet’s Bespoke season. In 2019 Rani was appointed Ballet Mistress and Creative Associate for Queensland Ballet and in 2022 Creative Associate.