Riot of colour
Colour brings cheer: the Rajasthan Festival at DakshinaChitra
THE MADRAS Craft Foundation is celebrating the Rajasthan Festival till February 13 at DakshinaChitra on the East Coast Road, Muttukadu. The festival, sponsored by the South Zone Cultural Centre, in collaboration with the West Zone Cultural Centre, brings together the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Rajasthan through colourful folk performances, crafts and cuisine. As many as 46 artistes from the State are taking part in the fest. One can get to see Bilaram of Udaipur (puppetry), Bana Nath of Jaipur (Kalbelia), Roop Singh of Baran district (Chakri), Mamma Khan of Jaisalmer (Manganiar singers), Mohan Mali of Udaipur (Food craft) and various craftspersons.
Kalbelia is a nomadic group of Rajasthan whose primary occupation is ensnaring snakes and trading their venom. During social occasions, folk songs are sung and women dance to the rhythmic beats of the daf and the plaintive notes of the been, and they often resemble the movements of the snake.
Kanjar girls perform the Chakri dance, especially during weddings. Whirling round in flowing skirts, the girls appear almost like spinning tops. Hence, the name Chakri.
String puppets (Kathputli) made of wood, fabric and cotton have glittering facial makeup. With just three or five black strings, the puppeteers are able to create spectacular movements.The Manganiars hail from the western part of Rajasthan. During annual festivals, these artistes are called upon to sing in homes and temples.
Also on display are crafts from the State pottery and lac bangles from Jaipur and Jaisalmer, block printed saris and dress materials, Kota doria saris, bandhini printed material, bandhej from Jodhpur and mojris from Badmer. Last but not the least, you can make a beeline to the stalls and sample some mouth-watering delicacies of Rajasthan.
The performances will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except today).
DakshinaChitra is also organising a day-long workshop on "Kathputlis of Rajasthan" on February 13 from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The fee is Rs. 195. You can learn to make the traditional puppets at the workshop. For details call 98414 23149 or 98414 20149.
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