Vibrant arts of Kashmir enchant Delhiites


New Delhi : The reverberating voices of singers rendering soulful Sufiana songs and graceful movements of women in bright-hued kaftans performing varied folk dances – all this and more were part of the Jammu and Kashmir cultural festival here that left audiences mesmerised.

Support TwoCircles

The two-day fest showcased the rich and colourful traditions of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday and Thursday, with pretty girls dressed in the most vibrant outfits dancing to melodious folk tunes and men playing soulful and foot-tapping music.

If you were impressed by the Bollywood song “Bumbroo” in the Hrithik Roshan-Preity Zinta starrer “Mission Kashmir”, then the original would have truly captivated you. The audience at the Kamani Auditorium sat spellbound as artistes performed to the original Kashmiri folk song.

Organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, the festival was indeed unique. It brought together more than 100 musicians and performers from the valley.

From devotional sufiana songs, Kashmiri opera to a variety of folk dances — Rouf, Kud Dogri, Geetru, Ladakhi, Dhamali and Shina, to name a few genres — the audiences were amazed by the sheer play of colour and talent that was unfolded in front of their eyes.

Dressed in bright kaftans, 18 young girls depicted the life of a girl in Kashmir through an opera — how she blossoms into her youth, playing with her friends and going for rides in the kayak (boat) and then matures into a graceful woman who gets married and nurtures a home.

The Geetru Dogri folk dance by artistes from Ramnagar in Jammu had some men playing drums and other instruments while others, whose feet were adorned with ghungroos (anklets), danced and performed acrobatics.

Aarti Negi, a doctor, who had come to see the show on both days, said she connected easily with the song despite not understanding its lyrics.

“That is the magic of music. It transcends all language and cultural barriers. I simply enjoyed all the song and dance performances,” she told IANS.

Andrew Geldof, an Irish tourist, also enjoyed the show immensely. “And look at the outfits! They were just so spectacular,” he added.

Rafiq Masoudi, secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, said this initiative was aimed at providing artistes of far-flung areas of Kashmir an opportunity to showcase their talent to the world.

“For instance, the artistes belonging to the Shina tribe of Kargil have hardly stepped out of their homes, let alone perform. This programme has given them a platform to exhibit their talents for the first time,” Masoudi told IANS.

“Also the endeavour is to showcase Kashmiri dances in their original form,” he added.

The troupe will next perform in Bangalore Dec 15.