Shilp Utsav 2010 starts tomorrow in city

A two-day mega cultural and music extravaganza is starting in the city from tomorrow. I am talking about Shilp Utsav 2009, which is organized by NEZCC in commemoration of artistes every year. The event will also mark the fourth anniversary celebrations of Shilpgram, which over the last few months has emerged as a premier hub of art and music in the city.

Besides enthralling presentations of folk music and folk dance, the two-day event will also feature some of the most amazing musicians of Northeast India. Among all the performances scheduled, Guru Rewben Mashangva, however, is sure to delight, just like he has done countless times before. A wandering minstrel from the hills of Manipur who is popularly known as the father of the modern Naga Folk Blues, Guru Rewben Mashangva has not only rediscovered and reinvented the variegated rich folk traditions of the Tangkhul Nagas, but he has also refashioned tribal musical instruments to suit the Western tonal scale. Though he might not have ‘toured the world’ as the word is understood in the current music ‘industry’ idiom, his assumed apostolic mission of popularizing his brand of music, singing of joy and travails and also reviving age-old traditional folk culture will not just evaporate without a trace. It will definitely have a cyclic impact on many generations to come.

One of the hallmarks in Reuben’s illustrious career was his painstaking efforts in the amplification and customization of the Tingtelia, a fiddle like traditional stringed instrument. Reuben had to experiment for almost a decade with the original Tingtelia in order to create a distinct sound that goes harmoniously smooth with the modern acoustic and electric guitar and harmonica. The other instruments which accompany his ‘Hao Music’ include Yankahui, a long bamboo flute, and a yak horn played with a mallet apart from an assortment of modern and traditional percussions.

The Assam Cultural Academy is led by Dr. Prassana Gogoi who has the distinction of having taken Assamese folk beats to the globe. Dr. Gogoi had also won a silver medal for showcasing a fusion of Assamese Bihu in Korea last year. His famed Assam Cultural Academy strikes an immediate delight with the audience and amply shows the richness and grandeur of Assamese tribal beats.

The famed Bagrumba dance and Singhi Cham (snow lion) dance by artistes from Sikkim is also scheduled to be presented in the two-day fest. Meanwhile, artistes from Manipur will present the famed Phum Cholom dance along with an ethnic fashion wear show.

For music lovers, however, the show is going to be a real delight, marked by performances by some of the tightest rock outfits of the Northeast. Snow White – the sensational outfit from Meghalaya which had taken the entire region by storm a few years back – is making a comeback of sorts once again in Guwahati. This band had rode on a massive wave of public support soon after the release of their debut album, U Rangdajied – based on a Khasi allegory of love and fame. Scintillating live performances thereafter had marked their emergence as a top-knit outfit.

The other band to watch out for is Dark Horizon – the new funk sensation from Assam. One of the most promising bands to have come out from the region in recent times, this band has carved a niche for themselves by sheer hard work, dedication and passion towards music. They had release their debut album, Star, recently.

From what I have learned till now, this show is going to be a sure rocker. For instance, a huge stage is being set up, the magnitude of which is hardly seen in shows held in the city. Like all other endeavours of the NEZCC, the stage too is symbolic of the Northeast and includes the different facets of both tribal and riverine culture. Besides the performances scheduled, the stage itself is going to be a feast for the eyes and I would term it as a true artistic expression.

The show will begin at 17:45 hours. Entry is free for all.


Posted on January 15, 2010, in Day-to-Day. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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