The ABU International Festival of Dance 2019 Managed by Wizcraft and Hosted by Gitikka Ganju Dhar

Entertainment | March 25, 2019 | News

Gitikka Ganju Dhar Wizcraft

And this I was thinking, perched on a chair backstage, waiting for rehearsal to begin - As children and young adults, many of us must have had the opportunity to learn a form of dance or two, classical, folk or modern. And then, life took over. The modern digital age that we exist in gives us little time to savor, either the recital of dance or the practice of it. I think, everyone must dance, every day, everywhere. And to keep dance alive, our heritage and tradition of dance must be preserved, nurtured and proliferated so the millennial generation can pass on a thing of such immense beauty to their next generation. And then, the sounds of the hustle of bangles and bells jostled me out of my stupor. It was time to rehearse. In the real world.

Platforms like ABU International Festival of Dance don’t just bring artists together, they also keep alive the creative wealth we have inherited from our ancestors. The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has instituted the ABU International Festival of Dance, which aims to blend the unique diversities of the Asia-Pacific region through dance as an international language. The 2nd ABU International Festival of Dance was held amidst many songs, dance, and grandeur at The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. The festival was held in association with Prasar Bharati, a key administrative member of ABU, represented at the festival by All India Radio and Doordarshan. 

Organized by Doordarshan, the event was managed by Team Wizcraft International. The brief to them was good-predictable. Edition two should be more memorable than the first. The result was good-predictable too. They pulled it off and packed a punch and a few chops too.

They began by giving the festival a theme that was big-canvas, universal and all-encompassing, UNITED BY DANCE. It captured the core essence of the festival, of bringing diverse nations and cultures together on one international platform. Carrying the concept forward, two special performances were curated especially for the festival. The first performance, a musical act by acclaimed percussionist Bickram Ghosh and his troupe created the right setting for the opening by paying obeisance to rhythm, the originator and precursor of dance. The closing act by Maitreyi and Troupe brought the concept to its logical conclusion by showcasing the host country’s myriad dance forms, all playing out in perfect harmony with each other.

During the festival taking stage were 130 dancers from 11 countries, the delights were many too - Turkmenistan - Kushtdepdi, TVRI Indonesia – Lilin Siwa, Ratu Luing, Nepal – Salijo Jhhaure, Uzbekistan – Lagan, Guldasta, Afghanistan – Attan, Maldives – Vaguthu Faalan Mathee, Malaysia – Sarawak, Bangladesh – Medley, Bhutan – Boedra, Fiji – Our Multi-Cultural Paradise, RRI Indonesia  – Tugu Rimba Raya Battle and India – Dance Fusion. 

Post the last performance by India, all participating dancers were called up on stage to move in unison to a common beat. This amalgamation of diverse dance forms and a multitude of dancers performing together was not only memorable for dancers and audience alike but also ensured that the festival ended on a high crescendo, befitting of such an occasion. 

The festival reached half the population of the world that comes under the telecast shadow of member ABU countries, via a live telecast. Some special challenges faced included ensuring seamless coordination between all aspects of conceptualization, logistical planning, and execution, especially keeping in mind that approx. 130 dancers from 11 countries were performing in a festival that was being broadcast live internationally. It required a highly well-synchronized effort with no margin for error. Yours Truly hosted the event along with the veteran from All India Radio and many a prestigious government event, Jainendra Singh.

 

Post the event, I retreated back into my stupor musing, I am first a dancer, then a writer, then a singer and then an anchor. So when someone tells me to host a dance festival, I cannot help feeling joy. To talk or not to talk maybe a question sometimes. To dance or not to dance, is never a matter of debate. As my friend Rumi had once said, “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” Until next time, Dance on people. It helps like none other.

Gitikka Ganju Dhar recently hosted the ABU International Festival of Dance which was managed by Wizcraft.

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