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Homage to Gandhi

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MANY HUES A folk dance presentation at the event.
MANY HUES A folk dance presentation at the event.

JITENDRA PRATAP

Sahitya Kala Parishad's `Satyagraha' was a grand affair, featuring a slew of cultural programmes.

Different forms of `charkhas' were exhibited during the event.

The nation paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on January 30th, the day of his martyrdom. On this occasion,Sahitya Kala Parishad in collaboration with the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of NCT Delhi, began a six-day mega event, `Satyagraha' at the Central Park in New Delhi's Connaught Place. One has to give full credit to the organisers for creating a grand, colourful yet a very sober ambience and also for presenting the various teams with the large number of performers in an efficient manner. Thousands of men, women and children enjoyed this mega event with music and dance by performers from various parts of the country. The two platforms, one on either side of the large performing arena, helped in prompt entry and exit by the performers. The Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit rededicated the Central Park to the citizens of Delhi where cultural events shall be held every month "to emphasise the spirit of real India". Different forms of `charkhas' (spinning wheels) were exhibited during the six-day event.

Creative blend

The most impressive performance was by the combined choral group of five male and five female singers from Amritsar along with ten folk singers from Barmer in Rajasthan. This creative blend of urban and folk musicians rendered the two favourite hymns of Gandhi "Vaishnav jan to" and "Raghupati Raghav" with intense melodic appeal and superbly improvised variations by the folk singers. These hymns were sung in a highly innovative manner, leading to an ambience with the Mahatma's aesthetic taste and spiritual sentiments. The other items presented were Manjeera Raas and Sidhi Dhamal (Gujarat), Tera Taali, Langas and Chari dance (Rajasthan), Cheraw Bembu (Mizoram), Nath Been and Deepak dance (Haryana), Sufi Dhadis (Punjab), Dhol Cholam (Manipur). However, the items to please most were the Mizoram dancers' Cheraw Bembu, Punjab's Sufi Dhadi and Rajasthan's Chari dance by a group of women with brass pitchers on their heads and fire pots at the top. Gujarat's Sidhi Dhamal was performed with demonic spirit while Manipur's Dhol Cholam and Rajasthan's Tera Tali were devoid of their earlier brilliant forms. The evening concluded with a contemporary dance by the French National, Gilles Chuyen, depicting the importance of khadi. The event was brilliantly conceptualised by Bhanu Bhaili.


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