When recounting the contributions of those who have worked hard to endorse theatre, music and dance, the name Aishveryaa Nidhi stands tall.
This versatile Sydney-based artiste has not only helped promote cultural harmony through performing arts, within and beyond Australia, but has also opened newer avenues for budding artistes.
The journey thus far
Theatre artistes have their work cut out for them. Add to that relocation to another country and it becomes even harder. But in the odyssey to global stardom, Aish, as she is fondly referred to, has faced all odds to relive her success in Sydney.
She moved from New Zealand to Australia in 2001 and brought along her love for acting. She did everything she could to promote theatre in Australia. And, not only did she establish herself in the Sydney theatre and films circuit, she also used it to promote cultural ties with India. “It is my passion to promote Indian art & culture.
“Our audience is multicultural, so if we are showcasing is a play in Hindi, like Gandhari in search of light generally English subtitles are run alongside. This helps us to draw people from various backgrounds and provides an opportunity to promote our stories as well,” says Aish.
For Aish, acting is much more than just performance. It is a passion, a desire that knows no bounds. And she has kept that passion alive over decades. The passion and power in whatever she represents on stage leaves an indelible impression on her spectators. She has performed extensively in India, New Zealand, USA and Australia.
Aish has won millions of hearts by giving every character she plays a life of its own. Her creative bandwidth is extensive. Her titular role in ‘Gandhari… In search of light’ is one of her most memorable theatre performances in which she plays 14 different characters from Vyasa’s Mahabharata.
From her performances in the play Leviathan: The Unauthorised Biography of Sydney by John Birmingham, in David Sharpe’s Mandragora, and Elizabeth Warning’s Almost Boiling to playing Indira in Seth Freeman’s Imperfectly Frank and Heather Pinto in Stanley Joseph’s My Cornerstone, she has excelled in genres of comedy, romance, tragedy and more.
Off stage, she dons several caps – writer, director and producer. She has worked with many personalities like Arvind Gaur, Piyush Mishra, Amitabh Srivastava, Devendra Raj Ankur, Hema Singh, Suresh Bhardwaj, Vageesh Singh, Suneel Sinha, Amita Udgatha, Subhash Udgatha, Ranjit Kapoor, Ashok Lal, Mahesh Dattani, Deepak Dobriyal, Shilpa Shukla, Alex Broun, Pete Malicki, Lisa Eismen, David Sharpe, Cary Peppers, Seth Freeman, Anupam Sharma to name a few.
She has organised theatre workshops with Arvind Gaur from New Delhi, Joyraj Bhattacharjee from Calcutta, Mathivanan Rajendran from Chennai, voice training workshops with Bill Pepper and play writing workshops with Alex Broun.
Her productions like Cary Pepper’s ‘Irish Stew’, Seth Freeman’s ‘Imperfectly Frank’, Neena Badhwar’s Quarantine, Hindi adaptation and direction of Alex Broun’s play ‘Cate Blanchett wants to be my friend on Facebook’and ‘While you were sleeping’, Sukhpreet Dhamoon’s ‘Dhalti Parchayian’ , Shourya Nidhi’s ‘The Hostage’, Drama- mystery’ Beyond Life’ and Aussie-Bollywood flick F’light to Bollywood’, among others, entail her body of work.
She became the first Indian artiste to get nominated for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Mandragora’ at Short and Sweet, Sydney, the world’s biggest festivals of ten minute plays.
She was invited twice by Sydney Theatre Company to work in collaboration with them. Opera Australia invited her to be a coach for movements, gestures and physicality for Lakme’.
And for her excellent contribution in promoting art and culture, she was awarded ‘Outstanding Person of the year’ award by United Indian Associations, Sydney in 2015 and also ‘Icon Of Indian Art & Culture’ by Hindi Gaurav in 2015.
For connecting India with Australia through art and culture, she was awarded by Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, Sydney in 2013. Aish was honoured by United Indian Associations (UIA) on International Women’s Day for contribution in art & culture in 2011 and was also honoured by Navtarang FISCA and Hindi Gaurav- Sursangam for two consecutive years.She was awarded ‘South Asian Artist of the year’ at South Asian Festival, Melbourne in 2008.
In 2015, for the very first time Short +Sweet International created a new dance festival with name Short+Sweet Bollywood thereby providing an opportunity to the Bollywood dancers and dance schools to show their creativity on stage.
Aishveryaa Nidhi is associated with Short+Sweet since 2009 and she is the first Festival Director for Short+Sweet Bollywood .
After gaining accolades for her work, she decided to provide budding talents a better platform to learn and perform. She started Abhinay School of Performing Arts in 2009, which has nurtured many talented artistes since then. “In Sanskrit, Abhinay means ‘the art of performing’. The school is dedicated to inspiring and cultivating creative works, quest for artistic endeavours and to bring different cultures together,” says Aish.
Further recounting the institute’s achievements, she adds, “This academy has played host to plethora of events including play-writing workshops, Festivals of plays like Hindi Divas celebrations, Abhinay Rang Mahatsav, Abhinay Utsav, Abhinay Shorts,participation in festivals like Short and Sweet, Sydney and New Delhi and Vedanta etc.
Abhinay provides a platform to various artistes, writers, directors and musicians to join hands and showcase their work.”
Besides this, Abhinay Australia has initiated many programs to promote the Indian talent in Australia by organizing dance classes, play writing workshops, acting workshops and has given opportunities to many budding artists.
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