Lokkala 2020: Daily online performances to showcase folk artistes from Pune region
The Lalit Kala Kendra of the department of performing arts, Savitribai Phule Pune University(SPPU) has come up with a unique 20-day programme to help folk artistes get a platform for their performances.
Through the online platform, Lokkala 2020, students and faculty members selected 20 troupes from villages near Pune and will begin showcasing folk dances, music and other styles online for 20 minutes from 8pm starting November 30. This will continue till December 19. The programme is being conducted under the National Centre for Folk Performing Arts Studies, Research and Welfare Centre, which has been set up by SPPU two-and-a-half years ago.
“The folk artistes have not been able to perform due to the Covid-19 pandemic since the last eight months. Most of the artistes perform via invitations to village jatra, weddings, or any other auspicious events, but due to the pandemic, traditional folk artistes are struggling to survive,” said Praveen Bhole, head of department, Lalit Kala Kendra.
“When the lockdown was implemented, Lalit Kala Kendra along with Tech Mahindra Foundation helped 350 folk artistes with groceries and a ration, but that could not sustain them for so long. Also, with a ban on large gatherings, it is difficult for many of these folk artistes to earn their livelihood,” Bhole added.
The students spent a month and half scouting for such artistes in villages near Pune. “The emphasis was on providing a platform to endangered forms of performing folk art like Waru, Bharadi, songs of Lakhabai, among others. A five-member team of Bhushan Bhingarkar, Suraj Shinde, Bipin Ghobale, Pratik Halge and Unmesh Dhore scouted villages like Donde, Dhamni, Loni, Belhe and Narayangaon to meet these folk artistes personally.
“Initially, it was difficult to convince these artistes as they thought that we were just making fun of their sustenance. However, after two to three personal meetings along with a letter from our department, we got the folk artistes to agree to the programme,” said Bhushan Bhingarkar, a student specialising in theatre at the Lalit Kala Kendra.
The performers will be getting a royalty for their performances of Rs 5,000 from the Welfare Centre along with the online platform to showcase their talent.
Nandarani Bhokate, a Lavani singer and Tamasha artiste from Sakurdi village, Khed Taluka, said, “I am so happy that we finally get to showcase our kala (talent). The last eight months have been difficult for us. I have been part of a Tamasha pati (group) since the age of 7. Performing artistes get work only through invitations and with the lockdown, there has been no work. To set up one pati of Tamasha for two months of shows, we need at least Rs 5 to 6 lakh. This year, we have not performed at all. These students and their professors have given us a ray of hope and also a platform to appeal to the government to also look after us.”