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Bihu enthusiasts of the world, unite at Latasil ground

- Experts to conduct workshop on Assam’s most popular folk dance form for 11 days

Feb. 21: Get ready to tap your feet to the tune of dhol, with training from expert bihuas.

At the historic Latasil playground, where Bihu came onstage from the village courtyards, experts like borbihuwa Prasanna Gogoi, bihu samragye Dreamly Gogoi and borbihuwa Ranjit Gogoi will give lessons on the state’s most popular folk dance form.

The organisers, Raamdhenu Foundation, an NGO, and Gandharba Kalakendra, a city-based dance school, are hopeful that the 11-day All-Assam Bihu Dance Workshop-2013 will be the largest congregation of Bihu enthusiasts this season. Pradip Das, the working president of the organising committee, said the popularity of Bihu has increased over the years, mostly among schoolchildren.

The number of participants was so much more than the last workshop that they had to look for an alternate venue.

“Last year, the venue of the workshop was Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra. But the number of participants was way above our expectations. So, this year we looked for a bigger venue and settled on Latasil playground,” said Das.

“We have participants from Bongaigaon, Siliguri and Calcutta and of all age groups, although most of them were students,” Das said. Latasil playground has been an integral part of the history of Bihu’s transition.

The Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani in 1962, promoted by leading citizens like Radha Govinda Baruah and others, organised the first stage performance of Bihu here at the playground.

Das said interested participants could collect their forms from the office of Gandharba Kalakendra on Hengerabari Road near Ganeshguri and Parthana Stall in front of the St Mary’s English Higher Secondary School. They can also call 98640-49731 and 98641-18134.

Instructor Dreamly Gogoi said contrary to the belief that students of English medium schools have been distanced from the culture and tradition of the state, large numbers of students from English medium school have been participating in the workshop over the last three years.

“They write down the tunes of the dhol and all other instructions in English. It works as an added qualification for them and gives an opportunity to represent the state’s culture outside,” Gogoi said.

He said the number of participants in their workshop was 350 in 2010, 475 in 2011 and 550 last year.

She said, around 25 Bihu experts from across the state have been invited to train the participants.