Folk music and dance
Apart from book launches, stalls and workshops, as is the norm every year, a festival of folk music, dance and drama is complementing the World Book Fair whose theme this year focuses on indigenous voices mapping the country’s folk and tribal literature.
The programme, titled, Desraj: An Invitation to the Indigenous Performing Arts of India, presents some 30 different folk and tribal groups from across the country speaking about the life experience of disparate communities through indigenous dance, drama and music.
On the second day of the festival, which opened on February 4, artists from Kerala, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand performed in the Lal Chowk open air theatre at Pragati Maidan. Also, artists from Delhi Panchavadya Trust performed Naada Samanwayam, a folk presentation from Kerala. It was followed by Lai Haraoba, a ritual enactment of the legend of the creation of the world, by Huyen Lallong Manipur Thang-Ta Cultural Association.
“Literature has beginnings from the oral tradition and performing traditions, so we thought that it is a great opportunity to showcase to the world the indigenous performing arts of India through the World Book Fair stage,” says Sajita Madithil, deputy secretary, Folk and Tribal Performing Arts of India, Sangeet Natak Akademy, which is organising the event.
Towards the end of the second day, artists from Uttrakhand and Jharkhand performed Lok geet and folk dance. Rajasthan’s Mand group, famed for its style of singing, the Bihu dance from Assam, Ragini folk songs from Haryana, a Bhand Pather performance from Jammu & Kashmir, as well as performances by groups from Bihar, Lakswadeep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha, Tripura, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Nagaland, Chattisgarh and Gujarat, are all scheduled to be held at the fair, which will end on February 10.