“It was wild, it was so energetic and far from the usual. I wanted to try it, but I know I can’t get anywhere close to their skill,” said Amrath Sait, after watching a dance performance at the 2014 Dastkar Mela.

It will be on from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., till Sunday, at Valluvarkottam Hall. The cultural events that begin daily at 11 a.m. include music, puppetry and different dance forms such as the Rajasthani chari dance, siddhi dhamal dance (an African folk dance), Ratava dance from Gujrat, and the Bhawai and Banjara dance.

“The Bhawai dance was stunning. This was my first time seeing this dance form live, and it was incredible,” said Sangamitra A., a member of the audience.

The mela also has on display handicrafts that combine traditional strengths with contemporary designs.

Included in the collection are hand-woven products, block-printed bed linen from Jaipur, marble artefacts, Kashmiri floral embroidery, dress material from Madhya Pradesh, khadi, bandhini, block-printed cloth, inlaid furniture, Channapatna, jewellery and pottery.

The cultural events kept the audience spellbound — as Mr. Sait said, “We were all holding our breath watching them perform. They take such risks that it is frightening, and yet they are so professional.”

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