Life is one gigantic stage for these ‘Maidaani Kalakaars’, and everywhere they go, they share part of the vibrancy of Indian culture and their own reality with eager faces around them. The fleeting gaze of creative efforts is their hello to the crowds. They create a bond with each other, every time they pose and perform. It is apparent from their body language that they love their art and live each moment of it.
Looking at the assorted faces of these fringe-folk arts, one can experience a certain freedom and connection towards these dancers. Recently, these modest fellows proved themselves to be the real-time performers by exerting a pull on volumes of crowds outside the pavilions at the most diverse cultural festival of India, titled ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2016’.
Saahi Jaata Dance
Originating in 12th/ 13th century in Puri, a tinsel town of Odisha, Saahi Jaata is a community festival to celebrate the cult of Lord Rama. Local amateur dancers & actors disguise themselves in masks of deities, demons, mythological figures, gigantic animals, etc, and treading the streets with vigour, satire, and intense religious fervour.
The imposing parade also showcases young men swinging the torches of flames to the pulsating music of drums, clarinets, trumpets and conch shells. The stars of the act are Rama, Ravana, Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, and Hanuman. It’s no less than a grand street marathon!
Hailing from the royal courts of Rajasthan, Kacchi Ghodi is a popular folk dance that narrates the legends of Bavaria bandits. The dance is performed on imitation horses by the richly-attired men. Being an important warfare and loyal vehicle of Rana Pratap Singh, the horse is correlated with the royal strength. On tunes of drums, flutes, and fiffies, the performers entertain people in wedding ceremonies and other social settings.
South Indian Drums
The carnival also brought in sight the drumming culture from the land of temples and pristine beauty. The revered, rhythmic, and vintage sounds of these drums represent one of the facets of Indian spirituality and culture.
What we spot on stage always has a mention, but those who live the stage at every step aka ‘Maidaani Kalakaars’ rarely get their deserved portion of admiration. Keep an open mind while you see them and we assure you the unparalleled cultural experience!
- Rishu Jain