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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Bollywood comes to Brunswick Heads

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The D’Cruz family took part in Saturday’s Indian night at the Bruns Picture House. Pictured are Priya, Tiki and Suni, while in the back are Zerina, Edna, Shamila and Mahlia. Photo Jeff Dawson
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Paul Bibby

Watching the Bollywood Sisters dip and shimmy their way through a pulsing Indian dance number, it’s hard to believe they were once disconnected from their cultural heritage.

‘That aspect of our culture was swept off the map,’ says one half of the duo, Zerina Millard, of growing up in country Victoria and Canberra.

‘I didn’t even realise I had brown skin until I was 10 or 11 or something like that.’

‘Mum always cooked curries but that was about it.’

More than two decades on, Zerina and Shamila have not only embraced their Indian heritage, they are sharing it with hundreds of others in the community through Bollywood dance.

On Saturday night as their proud mother Edna and dance-loving children watched on, the sisters brought a little bit of Mumbai to the Shire for Bruns Goes Bollywood at the Brunswick Picture House.

A sell-out audience feasted on curry and danced their way through English-language Bollywood film Bride and Prejudice.

Zarina and Shamila performed multiple times throughout the night and got the audience’s shoulders bouncing.

Mountain of love

‘It was one of my favourite gigs to date – there was just a mountain of love coming from the audience,’ Zerina says.

‘People were dancing and everyone was coming up to us and asking when our classes were on.’

The duo’s mum, Edna D’Cruz, has been a mainstay at her daughter’s shows from the beginning and is deeply proud that they are bringing contemporary Indian dance to the community.

After coming to Australia with her 11 sisters and brothers in 1968 from Kerala in southern India, Ms D’Cruz married and, about a decade later, started a family.

Zerina moved to the Shire in 2000 and the rest of the close-knit family weren’t far behind.

‘We’re a very close family – basically where the kids go, we follow,’ Ms D’Cruz said.

‘At 15, 16 they wouldn’t even touch spicy food! Now I’m watching my grandchildren doing Bollywood dancing. It’s beautiful.’


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