Croydon is gearing up to take part in one of the biggest events in the capital’s calendar, when a talented local troupe will represent the borough Bollywood-style in London’s New Year’s Day Parade.
Fifteen teenage dancers and adult drummers from Apsara Arts in Mitcham Road are getting ready to wow crowds across the city with their performance for Croydon Council’s float, which will be entered into the parade’s borough competition.
Meanwhile, graffiti artist Skylight, whose eye-catching street art can be seen in Croydon town centre, has been commissioned by RISE Gallery in St George’s Walk to decorate the float in dazzling Bollywood style.
He said: “I’ve taken my inspiration from the colours Bollywood uses and the Croydon skyline, featuring some of the town’s iconic buildings. It’s definitely colourful.”
The Bollywood theme is Croydon’s take on this year’s competition theme – Lights, Camera, Action! Every year since 1997 all of London’s 31 boroughs, along with the City of Westminster, have been invited to enter the parade with some form of entertainment based on the annual theme and to demonstrate London’s diversity.
This year’s theme aims to celebrate all genres of film and TV from across the globe. Entries can take the form of an act, float, performance, dance ensemble, or all the above, making borough entries the heart of the parade.
All entries are automatically entered into the boroughs’ competition, competing for a share of the big charity cash prize which in recent years has been £40,000. Since the first parade in 1987, LNYDP has raised well over £1m for charity.
Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor
“Our heart-felt thanks to TONE scaffolding’s Andy Needham, Paul Healey and team who have worked extremely hard to ensure that their HGV truck is ready for us to use, and also kindly found a driver for us for the day. TONE is a fantastic Croydon business and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Croydon’s 2017 entry is going to be the best ever. The float is going to look fantastic, thanks to Tom’s work, and I know the dancers and drummers from Apsara will do us proud – I can’t wait to see them in action. Madam Deputy Mayor, Mr Consort and I may have to have a go at Bollywood dancing ourselves!
“The New Year’s Day parade is a really positive event for London as it brings together a wide range people from all over the city as both performers and spectators. It is shown across the world – so all eyes will literally be on Croydon. I am incredibly proud and honoured to be the Mayor of Croydon for this year and thank all those who are helping to put our entry together.
“Croydon has a tremendously rich, vibrant and diverse culture of which both the council and the community are incredibly proud. This year’s theme is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate our borough’s thriving Asian dance scene, which rivals any other in London. Indeed the theme for my Mayoral year is business, arts and culture. This a great chance to showcase some of our most talented young people to a global audience.”
LNYDP 2017 starts at noon on 1 January on Piccadilly, one of the capital’s most famous thoroughfares.
The parade route is as follows – Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Street.
For more information on the LNYDP visit http://www.lnydp.com/