The entire area of Mohor Kunja was filled with music and movement, colour and craft, ecstasy and enjoyment. Dance, music, art and craft together created a joyous atmosphere where various art forms mingled to commemorate the theme, ‘music for peace’. Presented by Banglanatak dot com, Sufi Sutra, a three-day international festival at Mohor Kunja (February 1-3) was a wonderful blend of Sufi and traditional music. It brought about a convergence of ideas on truth, harmony, peace and divinity. Groups from countries like Egypt, Spain, Iran and Russia as well as Indian states like West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan created a tapestry of universal brotherhood and bonhomie. Sanskrit hymns and Egyptian Sufi chants along with the sound of conch shells marked the beginning of the evening.
Nine teams from all over the world participated in this festival. A team of six beautiful women from Iran charmed the audience with their mellifluous music. Ghazal Sufi Ensemble, a troupe formed by Sahar Lotfi and Maryam Gharasou, rendered Iranian folk tunes based on Sufism and ancient Iranian music. This was followed by an interesting combination of African and Indian folk music, by Sidi Goma of Gujarat. It began with baithi dhamal, songs of remembrance, and ended with khari dhamal, an expression of joyful dancing.
The second day of the festival showcased the most striking performances. It featured flamenco music and dance from Spain and Bengal’s own soulful music. The Pinana Brothers Group from Spain combined traditional flamenco with its individual charismatic style. Egyptian Sufi performers stole the show. Renditions by bauls and fakirs from Nadia expressed love, devotion and humanity. There was an innovative combination of baul music and Bangla qawwali.
The final day featured mugam music from Azerbaijan. The refined skills and dedication of the artists were evident. Langas, the folk singers, sang sufiana kalam and Rajasthani and Punjabi folk songs with verve and power. The elaborate, three-day festival concluded spectacularly.
Brigitte Chataigner, a French contemporary choreographer and a Mohiniattam dancer, presented Ganga, a choreographic piece uniting poetry, music and dance, at Bonjour India 2013 at the ICCR on January 31. It was an evening dedicated to femininity and spirituality. Three dancers set against a minimalistic set and with accompaniment tried to explore the feminine intensity symbolized by the Ganga. She based her choreography on Western patterns along with the Mohiniattam dance style. Through this, she attempted to reveal the journey of a woman. Chataigner and her co-dancers, Celine Pradeu and Mom Chatterjee, were graceful and agile. Sandeep Chatterjee on the santoor supported the presentation aptly.