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Karigar Haat goes global

Karigar Haat, a fixture on the township’s calendar since 2008, will go international this year. The fair will be held at the rose garden inside Salt Lake stadium from January 7 to 16 and host 150 stalls from across India. There will also be international acts staged every evening.

Though the stalls selling handicrafts and handlooms will be put up in Salt Lake, the inauguration will take place at ICCR, on Ho Chi Minh Sarani, on January 5. A painting exhibition will take place there.

The fair will be called Karigar Haat: International Art and Culture Festival this year and several artistes from across the border have been invited. On January 7, Japanese folk fusion band Kariyusi, jazz flautist Miya and “live painter” Saori Kanda will perform. Kanda paints on stage, inspired by the music she hears and the musicians will be playing for her.

Performing the next day will be Mooralala Marwada, the Sufi musician from Gujarat who sings the poetry of Kabir and Meerabai.

On the same day an Italian theatre group will present commedia dell’arte, a form of masked theatre made popular in Italy since the 16th century. This group is named Moner Manush in honour of baul philosophy and two members of the group — Andrea Lattari and Cinzia Grande — had come to Salt Lake for a workshop before the pujas to give the audience a preview of their art (picture by Saradindu Chaudhury).

On January 9, Maki Kazumi, a Japanese-born baul settled in India, will sing along with Sadhan Das Bairagi. There will also be a performance by Kalachand Darbesh, one of the few living practitioners of Bengal’s dying darbeshi music.

Details for January 10 and 11 are being chalked out but both will feature teams from Bangladesh. January 12 will see folk fusion music by the Paris-based Pavan Das Baul, whose art exhibition would be up at ICCR on January 5. And in case you miss the Japanese team on the first day of the fair, you can watch them in action again on January 13.

There will be regular shows by Sikkim’s traditional Singhi Cham dancers (who dance to depict the snow lion), Rajasthan’s puppet dance and kalbelia dance (a dance by the tribe of snake charmers), Bengal’s chhou, dhamsa etc.

The fair, that would originally be held at Central Park, had to be held at BA-CA ground last winter after the government decided that the venue would only be let out to government-organised programmes. Karigar Haat is organised by the NGO Art Illuminates Mankind (Aim).

This year organisers say the scale of the fair would be too big to be contained in a neighbourhood park. “With Central Park out of bounds, the stadium seemed to be our best bet,” says secretary of Aim, Sonali Chakraborty.