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Thursday, Jan 02, 2003

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Slice of Bengal

It's Bengali time at Dakshinachitra, which is organising a 10-day festival from today, featuring the dance, art and craft forms of the State.


AS PART of its efforts to promote the country's art, culture and traditions, Dakshinachitra at Muttukadu has arranged a 10-day Festival of Bengal from January 2 to 12.

Six groups from Bengal will entertain the audience with vibrant folk dances, puppetry and music. The performances include Santhal dance (Santhal women dressed in red bordered white saris dance in a line symbolising the relationship between festivals and day-to-day activities), Rava dance (popular folk dance of Northern Bengal), Bahurupis (dance of the traditional village entertainers, who paint themselves up to depict mythological characters), Chader Badni (miniature puppet theatre where wooden puppets are operated by a series of cords attached to the puppeteer's foot), Baul (song and dance accompanied by ektaras, dotaras and kamak, narrating lifestyles and ideologies concerned with universal love) and Dhakis (dancing to the rhythmic beat of drums).

That's not all. The Bengali experience will be completed with snacks and crafts exclusive to the State — Patachitra or scroll paintings, Shola Pith and Dokra artefacts. A lot of innovative utility items such as lampshades, boxes and decorative pieces will be on show.

Last but not the least is the mask used in Chhau dance. Made of papier mache, the masks decorated with metal foil and sequins, will be excellent takeaways as souvenirs of the Bengal experience. For more details, call 4462435.

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