Music in the air and the city is dancing to the folk beat.
At the Rajasthan International Folk Festival music breaks all barriers —Manganiyars, singer community from the desert state’s western part,headbang to American rock ‘n’ roll; folk dancers get in sync with electro-fusion and guests, from home and abroad, sing along Swarathma, a folk rock band from Bangalore.
The annual five-day festival, which got underway on October 1, this year, took off with some brilliant performances in various regal corners of the Mehrangarh Fort.
Singer Rekha Bhardawaj, the Bollywoood playback singer of the Omkara’s Namak Isk Ka fame, was impressive in her attempt at Rajashtani folk form maand with maand singer Rehana Mirza and folk singer Bhanwari Devi Bhopi.
Ustad Sultan Khan’s vocals and sarangi were in perfect harmony with Manganiyars of Marwar on Day Three. It was a rare moment for the festival as not many exponents of classical form perform with folk singers.
While the main shows were held outdoors, the late night concerts at the Jananna Deori or Club Mehran made for an intimate setting.
In its third year, the festival enjoys the patronage of the Rolling Stone legend, Mick Jagger.
Though Jagger hasn’t been spotted at the festival so far, actor-activist Rahul Bose was there with friends.
Flamenco artist Antonio Ray was easily the Sunday showstopper as she got a standing ovation.
Langas performed with wind instruments and percussionist Sivamani, who did a fusion number with Rajathani, Spanish and British musicians, gave a pulsating finale.