A Festival of Dalit Art and Culture

..a two-day long programme (On March 15th and 16th) is being celebrated in Delhi at Constitution Club Lawn, Rafi Marg, New Delhi. Here is the schedule.

DAY ONE: 15TH MARCH

TIMINGS ACTIVITY

2:00 PM to 5:30 PM GODNA Art Exhibition

5:30 PM Inauguration of Utsava by

Chief Guest, Smt. Shiela Dixit

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi

6:00 PM Commencement of the Cultural Evening:

Opening Address by the Chairperson,

Mr. Martin Macwan

6:15 PM to 6:45 PM Folk Dance by REDS – Karnataka Cultural Group

6:45 PM to 7:15 PM Sufiyana Performance by Mehar Chand Mastana by

Punjab Cultural Group

7:15 PM to 7:45 PM Dhobiya Dance Performance by

Uttar Pradesh Cultural Group

7:45 PM to 8:15 PM ‘Bhavai’ Performance on “Mahavir Meghmaya” by

Gujarat Cultural Group

8:15 PM to 8:45 PM Performance by Dalit women Theatre group by

Andhra Pradesh Cultural Group

8:50 PM to 9:20 PM ‘Gigatham’ Performance by Vizthugal Tamil Nadu

Cultural Group

DAY TWO: 16TH MARCH

12:00 AM to 5:30 PM GODNA Art Exhibition

5:30 PM Valedictory Function: Chief Guest

Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission

5:45 PM to 6:15 PM Kalbeliya Dance Performance by

Rajasthan Cultural Group

6:15 PM to 6:45 PM ‘Bhoomigeetham’ Performance by Navchetana –

Kerala Cultural Group

6:45 PM to 7:15 PM Folk Dance by Jharkhand Cultural Group

7:15 PM to 7:45 PM Play “Yaad Karo Qurbani” by Apna Theatre –

Uttar Pradesh Culutral Group

7:45 PM to 8:15 PM Ghumra Dance Performance by Orissa Cultural Group

8:15 to 8:30 ‘Powda’ Performance by Maharashtra Cultural Group

8:30 PM to 9:00 PM Folk Dance by Chhattisgarh Cultural Group

9:10 PM Closing of the Event

P.S- Ghumra Dance is a folk dance of Kalahandhi. I grew up watching that dance every year twice. Once in the afternoon of Nuakhai, the harvest festival that actually now comes much before harvest and once during Dussehra, when Ghumra competitions are held, a kind of tournament that goes on all night long.

Technically, the music instrument is called Ghumra. It is a earthen pot with slender long neck. And sound is produced by beating the membrane that covers the mouth. It is tied to each dancers waist and reaches upto their chest, so he can play it synchronising with the dance. The dancers are handsomely dressed up, with glittering stuff and all, but the most important is the headgear. It is a typical Pagdi, that has lots of peacock feathers perched on it. The dancers can easily glide through the streets to houses from houses singing and beating Ghumra, as they dance in two lines, usually both singing romantic songs to each other-now mostly the Krisna-Radha type. Its a all male dance, now. Sometimes, there would be a lead singer, and a drummer-actually called Domb-baja, ostensibly named after the Domb caste or a dholakia-the guy who carries the two-headed indian drum, that is a bit tapering towards both sides from the center.

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