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Night of the Bauls

Today,baul music of Bengal has proponents in the likes of Paravathy Das Baul and Paban Das Baul,both of whom are world renowned musicians.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
January 9, 2009 2:36:31 am

A three-day Baul music extravaganza begins today

Today,baul music of Bengal has proponents in the likes of Paravathy Das Baul and Paban Das Baul,both of whom are world renowned musicians. But for an art-form which is all about austerity,fame shouldn’t be a priority. “The Baul utsav is all about unknown but talented bauls. We are trying to bring the rustic feel of villages of Birbhum to the city,” says Samar Nag of Bengal Shelters,which is organizing a three-day Baul utsav,Shikawr,at the Mohor Kunj.

Performers from Purulia,Bankura,Nadia and Purulia will grace the occasion. “Most of these performers haven’t performed in front of a city audience,” says Nag.

The idea of a Baul utsav came to Nag during his visit to the Poush Mela at Shantiniketan last December. The charged atmosphere that defined the festival,inspired Nag. “I wondered why we couldn’t have a festival like this in Kolkata. I know for a fact that a lot of city-dwellers will love an experience such as this,” says Nag.

Jhumur songs and dance,another folk tradition of Bengal,will also be performed in this festival. The dance gets its name from the cluster of bells worn round the ankles,which make a clanging noise. “Jhumur is a very vibrant dance-form. It is one of those folk forms which connect with the audience immediately,” says Nag.

Mohor Kunj,previously known as the Citizen’s Park,will play host to many such cultural events in the coming months. Bengal Shelters,which has taken the responsibility of the upkeep of the park,has elaborate plans for it. “The idea is to create a public place in the lines of Hyde Park or Central Park where the common man can also be exposed to art and culture,” sums up Nag.

Shikawr is on at Mohor Kunj till January 11

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