They are a group of six folk dancers and musicians who have come all the way from Italy to leave young Punjabi audience awestruck with their moves, which they showcased at the 5th Chandigarh International Folk Festival in Chandigarh University, Gharuan, on Wednesday.
The folk festival is an international cultural and educational exchange programme aimed at promoting a fusion of global cultures amongst different countries. This group from Italy comprises two dancers - Maya Monoca Devi and Valentina Munuchi - and four musicians, called Ciro Montana, Urso Agelo, Massi Miliango de Salvotore and Simona Gatto. Both Maya and Valentina excel in dance forms such as Flamenco, Arabic and Sufi style of dancing and performed on live music belted out by the accompanying musicians who played strains of Sufi, Oriental and gypsy-style of music while Simona brought out the magic of flute.
Sharing her experience of performing in India, Maya, 42, said, “We are all a part of the Nomadic Dance Festival, which is an annual event in Europe. This is our first visit to Punjab and it has been very exciting to explore Punjabi culture.
In fact, the audience here is very participative and seemed really excited to see our performance. There was continuous applause and even after we had finished, a lot of youngsters came to us and asked where they could learn such dance from.”
Meanwhile, Valentina was much excited and eager to learn bhangra, which she saw being performed at the event. “I’ve fallen in love with Punjab. Please send some teachers to teach us bhangra,” she requested.
The artists would next be visiting Harmandar Sahab and Khalsa College in Amritsar on Thursday. You can catch the artists at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh on December 20 at 7 pm, when they would put up a performance as a part of the Punjab International Folk Festival.