The first ‘All Women World Folk Arts Festival’ organised by the International Arts and Cultural Foundation from January 21st to January 23rd, 2016 was flagged off with vibrancy and grandeur at Ravindra Kalakshetra supported by Ministry of Culture, GOI and Ministry of Kannada and Culture, Karnataka, along with Zonal Cultural Centre, Ministry of Culture, GOI. The programme was inaugurated by Shri K.A Dayananda,KAS – Director, Department of Kannada & Culture, Government of Karnataka and Ms. Lakshmi GopalSwamy Award Winning Film Star and Classical Dancer.
A fantabulous All Women World Folk Art Festival, with International Dance and Music , exclusively by women artists, was a mega festival with 3 Days, 2 venue showcasing 18 variety of Folk Art, representing 11 States, 38 attendees for the folk workshop cum demonstration, 6 countries, 18 Languages, 144 Artists and 1000s of viewers who witnessed the festival. It’s like ‘One festival Many Worlds’.
In the times when the focus has been on ‘beti bacho’ and ‘beti pado’, this organization has aimed at supporting, saluting and celebrating the unstinted support and contribution by the Women of the World in Art and Culture, and also by initiating academic and scholarly discussions on Folk Music and Dance and most importantly to recognize women’s participation in performing arts worldwide. This festival would also enable cultural exchanges between participating teams in future, which is the uniqueness of this Project.
The Folk Dances from different parts of India performed at Ravindra Kalakshetra on 22nd January, 2016 left the audiences spell-bound with the opening energetic high octave performance ‘Dollu kunita’ by Smt Sujatha Murthy and Troupe, which was followed by vibrant, enthralling and mesmerizing moves , such as Ghoomar, Sambhalpuri, kaigottu kali, Giddha, Garbha by the All Women’s performing Groups – Monisha arts group, Nadam Dance Ensemble, Nrithyantar Dance Ensemble, Bhoomi Music Group.
With an objective and purpose behind this project to improvise the existing talent in the Artists, a Workshop-cum Demonstration Lecture on ‘Karnataka Hejje Kunitha’ was conducted at Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women by Smt. Nalina Udaykumar, a renowned dancer. All those who participated, expressed that the training imparted by International Arts & Cultural Foundation, Bengaluru, as ‘enriching and invaluable’ and thanked for such an opportunity given by International Arts and Cultural Foundation. Shri Raghavendra of Ananya Cultural Academy, Bangalore distributed the certificates to the participants of the workshop. Support extended by the Director, Dr. T.L.Shantha,Principal of MLACW, Prof. Vijaya T M., Prof. Manjunatha C and Chethana Hegde of Kannada Department for making this event cannot be forgotten.
The Folk Music performances in the evening at Kalagrama, Nagarabhavi by various artists, across India were so earthy and took us back to Indian Musical Roots that we as Indians are admired for across the World. The performances rendered by Ms. Gangamma, who is the president of the Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy, Anjana Mahila Sangha and Folk music by Ghal-Jhal troupe by Smt. Naga Chandrika left the audiences wonder-struck and proud for the rich heritage that we hold so close to our heart. These pieces are an asset to India that we need to preserve for our future generations. “What is unique is her ability to sprinkle Hase Haadu with nuances unique to Gamaka styling, giving it a new format. We plan to record them and present them to the Karnataka Janapada Parishath for their archives” says Srivatsa Shandilya of International Arts & Cultural Foundation, Bengaluru, who is the organizer of this event.
The Grand Finale was indeed grand in terms of the classics of the Folk Art that began with the Instrumental Concert by Smt Sukanya Ramagopal which adopted Classical based ragas to create Folk tunes, that left the audiences lure to join in the journey by the clapping hands to match the rhythm of the instruments used by the troupe. What an experience to be a part of the audience who would actually be made to feel involved as a part of the Troupe itself.
This was followed by the Folk Dances from Gulf countries, Egypt, Libya Turkey, Tunisea and Iran, that offered us a glimpse of their culture through Dance and Music. It was a visual treat to see the dancers of Sanas Dance Studio, presenting Khaleeji, El Hagallah. Stick Dance, Sword Dance, Pot Dance, Ghawaze and Ghasem Abadi. While most represented other countries, a few from India have travelled abroad to train in this dance form and made a place in their Dance Troupe. The bright, colourful costumes of their land, the unforgettable moves and the beauty with which the choreography was undertaken, delicate yet complicated, left the audiences’ gazing at the performances, without batting an eyelid. The 3-day Festival left audiences asking for more, which in itself is a testimony to the fact that The first 3-day ‘All Women World Folk Arts Festival’ organised by the International Arts and Cultural Foundation was a GRAND SUCCESS !
International Arts & Cultural Foundation, Bengaluru is a not-for-profit organization, currently involved in enabling remote viewing of live performances of traditional dance, drama and music recitals, using webcast technology. The larger goal of the organization is to help promote traditional art and culture by providing fine arts related training to upcoming artists, conducting practical workshops and events in association with government bodies and other non-government bodies that work towards promotion of traditional art forms.