Jodhpur to host international folk festival

By Anil Sharma, IANS

Jodhpur : About 250 artistes from India and across the world will gather in this desert city for a five-day Rajasthan International Folk Festival Oct 25-29.

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“The audiences will be able to watch them face to face through various interactive educational events, stage performances and late night jam sessions, with the unparalleled beauty of the Mehrangarh Fort forming the backdrop,” Mahaveer Sharma, trustee of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation, told IANS.

The festival that will feature singers, dancers, musicians, storytellers and artisans is a joint initiative of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation and the Mehrangarh Museum Trust (MMT).

Former ruler of Jodhpur Gaj Singh will inaugurate the festival with a grand ceremonial procession. Fifteen Rajasthani folk communities will take part in the music gala – many unknown to the outside world.

“Eminent artistes from India and abroad will present their inimitable musical notes brought from different parts of the globe. They will also collaborate with local musicians to create vibrant new sounds,” Sharma said.

“The opening of the festival has been timed to coincide with ‘Sharad Poornima’ – the brightest full moon of the year, when the royal apartments, gardens, verandas, courtyards, terraces and ramparts of the fort are lit up under the moonlit sky and look stunning.”

This is also a time when people in Rajasthan traditionally celebrate the Marwar festival with music and dance for several days.

The festival will culminate with a special devotional concert at dawn on Oct 29.

Unesco has endorsed the Rajasthan International Folk Festival as “People’s Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development”. Profits generated from the festival will be used for projects benefiting traditional communities engaged in performing arts in Rajasthan.