Sunday, November 13, 2011

Delhi International Arts Festival

Delhi International Arts Festival - a multi dimensional, multi venue annual extravaganza of all kinds of art forms: music, dance, films, theatre, what not. Somehow, it maintains a low profile and enjoys very selective publicity. What I mean is that although I live in Delhi, listen to the radio and move about in the city, glance through newspapers, I detect absolutely nominal coverage. My fate with this event is somehow jinxed.. it sometimes coincides with my holidays, sometimes I dont realize its on. This year too, this 15 day festival from 31st October to 15th November was about to give me the slip. But luckily I chanced upon a newspaper advertisment on the 7th. I checked out the website mentioned therein almost immediately to download the schedule of events.
I wanted to go on 7th itself, but could manage to land up only until the 10th. I chose the venue that was most convenienet for me, and also had two events scheduled on that day. Unfortunately, my husband was busy and could not accompany me. But so strong was my urge to break out of the daily routine, that I was mentally prepared to go alone. However, a junior from college who is also training under my husband, joined me.  Both of us landed up at the India Habitat Centre to attend a musical performance by a singer from Israel called Noa. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, her voice is strong, yet melodious. We could not understand the lyrics.. but who needs words to enjoy good music? She transported us to a different world altogether. Later she sung a song in English and made the audience sing with her too.

We slipped out of the music recital to an auditorium where a classical dance performance was scheduled. Although Bharatnatyam is a common danceform, the performance was so divine that it seemed completely new to me. The dancer, Vani Ganpathy, herself explained the lyrics and the choreographical interpretations so that we could enjoy her renditions, although we could not understand the lyrics of the background music (which was mostly in Tamil).

I felt strangely liberated with this break, and although I missed my family badly, I came back the next day to watch fringe dance. It consisted of a section on different forms of Manipuri dance, with their colourful costumes, and very delicate touch of martial arts. The last section was by a contemporary dance by a professional team called Danceworks. They are based in two Indian cities, with number of international dancers and more than 5000 students. Isn't that impressive?   

You must be wondering where are the photos.. but I am sorry, somehow my photos havent come out well. And my video recordings are long and heavy. So, please pardon me. I shall post few once I get some from my friends. And I promise you, that I am going to be back next year!

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