JK artistes put modern design on ethnic art

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) The cultural revolution and experimenting with traditional form of music and dance may seem long over in violence-ridden Jammu and Kashmir, but a new generation from the state is putting a ''modern design spin'' on the traditional lines of art to form a more contemporary blend.

Such a trend has put, among others, a rock-and-roll spin to the hoary culture of the frontier state - one among them being the staging of Shina, the ethnic dance-and-music form of Kargil, at the national capital this weekend. This lilting, colourful performance was done live for the first time on stage at a two-day cultural extravaganza of Jammu and Kashmir organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL).

Its distinct blend of folk music, coupled with contemporary compositions, was one of the highlights of a string of items that made waves beyond the Valley, as the two-day fest comprising ethnic groups of over 100 musicians and performers -- mostly from the interiors of J&K -- presented their rare numbers in their first-ever inter-state show.

Inaugurated by Union Minister for Water Resources Prof Saif-ud-din Soz and presided over by ICCR President Dr Karan Singh, the event had each of its item worth a watch with artistes in top quality and form.

Prof Soz, speaking at the function, emphasised that J&K was a reflection of multi-cultural and multi-linguistic India. ''The event reflects a sign of prosperity in the state,'' he asserted, adding that ''there is a need of such events in future.'' Mr Soz praised JKAACL General Secretary Dr Rafeeq Masoodi for his efforts in taking the art and music of the state to new heights.

The event began with a mini opera 'Mainz Raat', featuring the marriage of a girl that eventually led to her separation from her parents. The opera was presented by artistes from Kashmir.

Dr Karan Singh, while exuding confidence over the success of the show, told mediapersons, ''Delhi would certainly like the cultural fest as the programmes depict some unexplored aspects of the state.'' Having a string of items, the festival transported the audience from one part of the region to the other with a selected few items from all parts of the state.

Chakri, a kind of folk music from Kashmir, was performed by renowned singer Abdul Rashid Hafiz. The mini opera, based on Kashmiri wedding, and Rouf folk dance formed the part of list featuring ethnic form of music from the Valley, also won the appreciation of the goodly crowd.

A brief series of Jammu's folk dance and Dogri songs were followed by original dance and music of Baderwah's Kud Dogri folk dance, besides mask dances from Ladakh and a musical skit based on the popular folk love tale of Kashmir, 'Kunjalo Chanchalo. Not to be left out, bumbroo bumbroo--that hit the Bollywood charts after the song featured in movie Mission Kashmir, set the stage on fire as a group of Kashmiri girls danced to the tunes of the original version of the Kashmiri folk song.

Dr Masoodi, later talking to UNI, said the most wonderful part of the event is that most of the artistes had been brought from the remotest parts of the state. ''All of them are lucky enough to present their skills and talent on such a big platform before the audience here.'' Among others who attended the show were ICCR Director General Pavan K Verma and santoor maestro Pt Bhajan Sopori.


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