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A rich display of cultural arts

A rich display of cultural arts
Highlights

Sangeet Natak Akademi, the apex body for the field of performing arts, in association with Bharat Folk Arts Academy, founded by Dr Gopal Raj Bhatt, and Shilparamam, conducted a three-day North East-Telangana Festival recently that showcased a diverse array of cultural traditions from the North East and was sprinkled with Telangana folk dances.

Sangeet Natak Akademi, the apex body for the field of performing arts, in association with Bharat Folk Arts Academy, founded by Dr Gopal Raj Bhatt, and Shilparamam, conducted a three-day North East-Telangana Festival recently that showcased a diverse array of cultural traditions from the North East and was sprinkled with Telangana folk dances.

Colourful costumes brightened the stage. Dhak and dol was a drum sequence by Shankar Das and a group from Agartala, which featured a stirring combination of rhythm and acrobatics. Dhol Cholom from Manipur by Nata Sankirtan Dance and Music Academy was similar but with different forms of percussion. Bihu dance of Assam led by Prashanna Gogoi featured men and women dancers in the hallmark Assamese style, the costumes of dark cream bordered with ochre were a sight to behold.

Thang-Ta, a martial dance form often performed in the royal court of Manipur, featured a dramatic clash of swords which left the audience breathless. Shield and spear wielding warriors dueled with each other. Mizoram’s Cheraw dance was graceful and pleasant. The feathered tiaras of the dancers captured attention as did the boldly contrasting black and white dresses that they had worn.

Wooden poles were deftly manipulated underfoot as the artistes danced avoiding touching them without missing a beat. Raja Hassan's Baul Gaan from Agartala was a soulful melody which reminded the audience of the role of these bards during the mutiny. Telangana drummers presented a masterful display of drum-beating which brought the first day’s show to a spectacular finish

A few of the performances mentioned above were repeated during the next two days. Yak dance from Arunachal Pradesh by Rinchin Dorma had two artistes in a Yak’s guise dancing along with masked performers. Manipuri dancers in elegant pink and blue rotated in their mincing steps like dolls. Assamese folk songs, Rituparna Saikia's Deodhani and Ojapali stood out. Chakesang music was by Chetheba from Nagaland. Siddi dance from Hyderabad was performed enthusiastically. Gayan Bayan, Jhumur dance by Dulal Manki and Bodo and Rabha by Mukul Rabha, which were all Assamese, were also featured at the three-day festival.

By:Anna Rao

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