Rajasthan’s Old Folk Music Steals the Show at Debut Edition of Ranthambore Festival
by EVENTFAQS Bureau Entertainment | February 8, 2017 | News
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Ranthambore Festival, a not-for-profit festival, that is aimed at showcasing the richness of Rajasthani folk music and the state's wildlife landscape, achieved what it had set out to do and much more in its first edition that was held from January 27 to 29.
Envisioned by NGO Puqaar Foundation, Ranthambore Festival is a cultural festival organized in close association with BookASmile and First Stone, and supported by key partners like CMS VATAVARAN, who have curated the Wildlife Film Festival, technology partners Harman & Sound.com, Pearl Academy, artist and stage management company Mixtape, BAJAAO.com, Ustad Gah, Pause and Effect, Kadambari Yoga and experience partner Uber.
More than 3,000 people over the three days of the festival immersed themselves in a weekend packed with moonlit performances by over 40 artists, an open-air wildlife film festival with interactive Q&A sessions with filmmakers, over 20 interactive talks and workshops, panel discussions on conservation, late-night folk music performances, heritage walks, safaris and more – all set against the backdrop of a breathtaking venue, The Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambore.
Envisioned by the NGO Puqaar Foundation under the patronage of the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Ranthambore Festival has been designed to be a platform to honour Rajasthan’s little-known, world class musicians and celebrate the singular music traditions, while also raising awareness on the need to preserve our natural habitat and wildlife.
Day One of the festival opened with screenings of documentaries at the Wildlife Film Festival, showcasing films by acclaimed filmmakers such as Giuseppe Bucciarelli, Saravana Kumar, Sandesh Kadur, S Nallamuthu, and scintillating folk music performances on the Annexe Lawns stage by 77-year-old Hakim Khan on the Kamaicha, Kutal Khan, Bariam Khan and other artists. Saturday saw yet another stellar folk music showcase by Rajasthani folk musicians Hakim Khan, Taga Rama Bheel and Chagna Ram on the kamaicha, matka and algoza. That was just a teaser of the riches that were on offer during the weekend.
The evenings saw the BookASmile Hathikund Mainstage light up with opening day performances by Sufi singer Parveen Sabrina Khan and a piano recital by Western classical pianist Karl Lutchmayer. Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café brought their inimitable energy to the stage and received a lot of audience love and cheer. Dancer Mallika Sarabhai and Darpana Academy of Performing Arts put up a colourful performance that showcased different folk dance forms from India. On Day Two, performances by Maati Baani and the Rajasthan Police Band in a Sufi Avatar mesmerized the audience, while the powerhouse performance by Ustad Ma Zila Khan and The Nomads (Rajeev Raja on flute, Fabrizio Cassol on Saxophone) met with roaring applause from the crowd.
Saturday also saw a packed house at the premier screening of ‘The Unforgotten Music of Rajasthan’ a documentary that chronicles the journey undertaken by the festival to remote corners of Rajasthan over 12 days to showcase legendary folk musicians, most of whom were performing at the festival.
Every night the festival concluded with attendees settling in for magical late-night folk performances at the First Stone Amphitheatre, a stage that lent a warm, intimate atmosphere despite its massive size. The stage saw a midnight sarangi performance by Bhanvru Khan, Lok Bhajan by Ugam Dan Ji, pabuji ki phad performance by Kailash Dan and many more.
The interactive workshops, such as those on wildlife photography by Aditya Dicky Singh, Wildlife Filmmaking by Sandesh Kadur received an enthusiastic response as did the interactive talks by Kartick Satyanarayan (‘Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflict’) and Dharmendra Khandal (Wildlife Success Stories – Village Wildlife Project).
The festival also saw participation from business leaders such as Ashish Hemrajani (CEO, BookMyShow), Ashutosh Phatak (founder, True School of Music), Vijay Nair (founder & CEO, OML), Farzana Cama Balpande (CEO, BookASmile), who brought a distinctive perspective to the panel discussions on topics such as ‘Evolution of Patronage in a Modern Music Landscape’ and ‘How to break forth a traditional folk artist in today’s music industry'.
Apart from the stunning music and dance performances, there were a host of exciting interactive activities over the weekend like guided drum circles, heritage walks, an interactive cookout, voice meditation workshops, yoga camps, a Mongolian throat singing workshop and more that created a general bonhomie at the festival.
The Pop-Up Souk in the palace corridors was where attendees could browse through a slew of eclectic, homegrown lifestyle brands like Nicobar, Ayca, Teatro Dhora and Shorshe alongside unique NGO startups like Okhai, Dhonk and Dastkar Ranthambore.
From January 27 to 29, the festival hosted a wide array of music and dance performances, workshops, discussions on art and wildlife with over 3000 people in attendance.