THE FOLK dance show on the fourth day of State’s golden jubilee celebrations at Motilal Nehru Stadium proved to be a lacklustre event with only a small audience turning up.
Although the programme began an hour behind schedule, the artistes were all revved up to give their presentations for the evening that packed some vibrant and colourful performances enjoyed by the audience that began to trickle in the late hours to savour the cultural bonanza.
The show began with a traditional folk song recital in Bhojpuri and Maithili beautifully rendered by Patna vocalist Rekha Kumari.
Rekha’s two soulful renditions, Dekla Tore and He Lalna, set the mood for the rest of the evening that rhythmically reverberated the rich artistic heritage of various states with different dance forms pooled together to give a marathon visual experience with around a dozen presentations lined up one after the other. These included the Badhai, Naurata (Bundelkhand), Jhoomar, Barahmasa, Ropni (harvest dance from Bihar), Thangta (sword dance from Manipur), Poongcholam, Panthi (Chattisgarh), Daandiya Raas (Gujarat), Puraliya Chhou Nritya (mask dance based on Mahishasur Mardini from West Bengal), Bihu (Assam) and Lavni (Maharashtra).
The declining interest among the citizens of the capital didn’t dampen spirits of the troupes that rocked with verve and vitality, enlivening the mirth and joy of auspicious occasions like childbirth, weddings and festivals that usually provide a stage for folk music in India. Dressed in flamboyant costumes and donning extensive jewels, these folk artistes gelled with each other in a remarkable manner to bring out a distinctive local flavour associated with each dance.
All dances were executed with a fascinating body language and footwork to match the scintillating tempo provided by the songs and the musical instruments.
The one that managed to garner a thunderous applause was the mask dance from West Bengal performed to perfection with brilliant rhythmic beat while matching up with varied pitch scale.
Celebrations will continue with noted Sufi Qawwal Ahmad Hussain Warsi scheduled to perform at the Stadium on Friday evening.