Saturday, March 26, 2017

EDM over! Folk takes centre stage now

Lokotsav, the annual fiesta that celebrates folk art and handicraft, is back in the city of Panjim. Café finds out what is happening at this festival that will be on from January 6 to 15, 2017

By | 05 Jan, 2017, 01:54AM IST

EDM over! Folk takes centre stage now
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A new year has begun and the state is recovering from all the hullabaloo that usually ensues in the last week of December. While the EDM frenzy has clearly settled, the capital city is about to witness an explosion of folk art and culture with Lokotsav 2017. Clearly, one of the better and bigger national level events organised by the Directorate of Art and Culture, Goa, Lokotsav is back with its 2017 edition. The annual festival that is held in collaboration with the West Zone Cultural Centre Udaipur, South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur and Department of Art and Culture, Jharkhand and Kala Academy Goa begins on January 6 and will go on till January 15, 2017.

Amitava Bhattacharya of Banglanatak dot com – the supporting partner of Lokotsav, says, “Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs (RCCH) are being developed by the Department of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises & Textiles (MSME&T) of Government of West Bengal and UNESCO to synergise cultural and and economic development in the state. Capacity building, Direct Market Linkage and exchange and collaboration are three steps of the methodology adopted in creating RCCH, known as Art for Life. The traditional artist communities are now reaching out to the world to share their cultural heritage. Lokotsav, the flagship folk festival organised by Government of Goa, provides a fantastic platform for these rural artists to showcase their talent and link directly to the market.”

Akin to last year, dance troupes from the rural parts of Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha, Manipur, Jharkhand, Nagpur and our very own Goa are all set to present an assortment of rural folk art performances at Darya Sangam near Kala Academy, Campal-Panjim. The DM Kala Mandir will also see some cultural action like the Lathi Dance from Bihar, Tamasha from Nagpur, Manganiar from Rajasthan, Pung Dhol Cholam from Manipur, etc. The open air auditorium at Kala Academy will serve as a fitting venue for performances like Dashavtar from Sawantwadi, Urubhangam by a troupe from Margao, Jhumar Song, dance and Baul from West Bengal, etc.

Along with these singers and dancers, as many as over 1,000 artisans are also showcasing their craftwork at the festival that attracts a huge number of visitors, mostly comprising locals. Throughout the duration of the festival, an exhibition and sale of handicrafts that will feature Mojdi, Bandhani, leather work, patch work, jute work, handlooms, wooden toys and furniture, jewellery, Goan handicrafts, etc, will be open. In addition to that, workshops on Molela (Clay Work), Jute Work, Chikankari, etc will be held at Kala Academy. There will also be a food court, where different delicacies – right from chaat, to piping hot jalebis and mouth watering rasagullas will be on display and sale.

Last year, Lokotsav had 550 craft stalls and over 1,000 folk artistes performing for 10 days, showcasing the various folk art of India. This year, it appears to be bigger and over 25,000 persons are expected to visit per day.