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A slice of Africa

A slice of Africa
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Africa Day celebrations in the city started with huge enthusiasm on Monday at Kamani Auditorium. On the first day, participants from Seychelles, Zambia and Ghana performed. Tuesday saw performances by Senegal, Sudan and Mali.

The festival was a celebration of the dark continent, bringing together dance, music and other cultural aspects of Africa with the help of performances by various cultural troupes. There was the Zambia Cultural Dance Troupe (ZCDT), the National Cultural Troupe from Seychelles and Nientan from Ghana who gave some thrilling performances, leaving the audience asking for more. Each country showcased their unique and colourful traditions and rich dance forms.

The troupes were joined on stage by dancer-choreographer Geeta Chandran. Clad in a traditional south Indian sari, she led the musicians to the rhythm of carnatic music as they paid tribute to host India with a group performance.

‘I wanted to open a dialogue between the African traditional performances and Indian music by teaching the African percussionists and musicians to play the adi talams (old rhythms) of the carnatic cycle of talam,’ said Chandran.

This was a followed by the Zambian troupe ZCDT taking up the stage for a ride through the cultural alleys of Zambia. it was a real cultural treat with a display of colourful attires to the sound of drums which drenched the auditorium in African culture.

This was a group of professional artists drawn from nine different community-based cultural ensembles with the view to supporting the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ motto through their arts and culture. They showed off their skills on traditional percussion instruments and ritual dancing from the villages.

‘Culture plays a unique role in building bilateral relations between India and African nations,’ said Suresh K Goel, director General, Indian council for cultural relations (ICCR) which organised the festival. Zambian dancers came to the stage in sunshine yellows and headgear made of hay. The cultural troupe from Seychelles came up with dreamy romantic music accompanied by dance.

The performers from Ghana made a quick entry. The Nientan group wove the essence of the culture of Ghana through their performance.

The evening ended with yet another India-Africa group concert conducted by Chandran in which the African percussionists departed from their free beats to play improvised renditions of the seven carnatic tales using rhythms of three, five and nine beats — the basis of Indian classical rhythm.

The second day of the festival saw the La Linguere cultural troupe from Senegal, Sudan Folklore Group from Sudan and Ensemble Instrumental National du from Mali.

A complete cultural feast!
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