For 25 years,seven Zonal Cultural Centres,spread across India,have been seeking out,nurturing and presenting the arts and craft from their regions. Fittingly,their silver anniversary celebrations,beginning April 13,will be wrapped in the rhythms of music and dance,the colours of handloom textiles and the wafting aroma of a numerous delicacies. Titled Maati ke Rang,this four-day extravaganza that has been organised by the Ministry of Culture,will bring together the cultural offerings from all parts of the country. Watching from the front row on the inaugural day will be Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The 10-acre Parade Ground of Panchkula is being transformed into the celebration zone by theatre director and designer Bansi Kaul. According to Kauls blueprint,there will be seven courtyards for each Zone,where artisans and craftspeople will demonstrate their traditional skills. Each zone will have as many as 15 crafts. The event offers an opportunity to exhibit indigenous products from distant places such as Ladakh, says Kaul. At present,traditional painters are painting the walls of the courtyards.
Folk dancers and musicians from Northeast,West Bengal,Punjab,Madhya Pradesh and South India will liven up the event,with shows of forgotten martial art dances being among the highlights. Two thousand participants are expected and Kaul is creating a 100-ft-long stage,complete with special effect technology. Well-known for playing with form,colour,sound and space when he designs venues for festivals in India and abroad,Kaul says that these projects help fund his theatre productions. The Zonal Cultural Centres was the brainchild of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and was an effort to bring dance,drama,music and art closer to the common man, said DS Saroya,director,North Zone Cultural Centre.
Maati Ke Rang will be inaugurated on April 13 at 6.30 pm at Parade Ground,Sector 5,Panchkula. It will be open to the public from April 14 -16