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Cultural festival on India opens in Germany

Written by: Staff
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Bonn, May 15 (UNI) The city centre of Bonn reverberated to the drum beats and to the sounds of trumpets, clarinets, tuba and saxophone and hundreds of people danced to the tunes as the jaipur kawa Brass and marched through the city opening an Indian cultural festival.

Dressed in colourful Rajasthani costumes, the 10-member brass band struck an auspicious note to the opening of the Biennate Bonn 2006 on Saturday by playing some devotional and classical melodies.

After a brief performance at the market square, the band inched its way through the city centre, followed by numerous fans of Indian music in a procession reminiscent of a wedding procession in India.

Their repertoire included melodies of some popular bollywood songs.

''It was a delightful experience and a good beginning for a three-month European tour of the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band," the band leader Hamid Kawa Khan told UNI after the opening performance.

As the night set in after the colourful start of the nine-day Biennale, the visitors from Germany and from other parts of Europe huddled into the theatres all over Bonn to watch some of the most outstanding contemporary theatre productions from India.

Popular among them were "Uttar Priyadarshi" (The last Blissfulness) from Manipur, Ismat Apa ke Naam (in Your Tribute) from Mumbai, "Midnight's Children" from Delhi, "Pune Highway" from Mumbai and "The Alien," a European production based on a screen play written by Satyajit Ray in 1967.

The opening of the Biennale was also marked by the re-enactment of the Opera Bonn's production of Philip Glass Satyagraha.

The Chorus Repertory Theatre from Imphal delighted the audience in one of the theatres by staging "Uttar Priadarshi". It takes the audience back to the days of the Kalinga Empire and narrates how Ashoka turned to Buddism after realising how much sufferings he has caused to his people.

At the end of the 80-minute play, its director, Ratan Thiyam, and his troupe were given a standing ovation by the predominantly German audience. Even though the play was staged in Manipuri, the audience could follow it easily because of an introduction in German given at the beginning and sub-titles shown during the show.

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