Waking up to spring time exuberance

The onset of springtime is undoubtedly the most preferred time to visit Northeast India. For this is the time when the people of the region, belonging to different tribes and races and with myriad ethno-cultural traditions, languages and religious beliefs, give full lease to their joy and exuberance in the form of unbridled festivities celebrating the mood of nature.

Dimapur woke up the grandeur of spring in Northeast India last week as thousands of people flocked to the NEZCC grounds in Dimapur – the commercial capital of Nagaland – to watch the North East Spring Festival 2011. Organized by the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) for the third consecutive year to celebrate the onset of spring in this corner of the world, more than 500 artistes from all the States of Northeast India as well as the other zonal centres of the country participated in the event, making it one of the most vibrant events to be organized in the region in quite some time. Talking about the Spring Fest, NEZCC director Som Kamei said, “The North East Spring Fest is our tribute to the beauty of spring here in the region.”

While folk dancers from as many as 14 States of the country shared space with handloom and handicraft artisans, puppeteers, writers, poets, intellectuals, choral singers, theatre groups, food connoisseurs, the highlight of the five-day extravaganza would undoubtedly be the participation of folk dancers from the neighbouring country of Myanmar who were sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

In a unique spectacle of colours marked by graceful movements and quaint rustic charm, the Burmese dance troupe performed as part of a unique folk fusion dance presentation on March 16 and the same was choreographed by internationally acclaimed musicologist Dr. Prassana Gogoi. A master craftsman who has earned acclaim in a number of countries, Dr. Gogoi’s accolade list also includes medals in the Seoul Drum Festival of South Korea. The beautifully choreographed presentation depicted the confluence of varied cultures in a truly vibrant and synchronised fashion.
The folk dance presentation featured regional folk dance forms like Rikhampada of the Nishi community of Arunachal Pradesh, Bagrumba of the Bodo community of Assam, Cheraw dance of Mizoram, Ka Shad Mastieh of the Khasis of Meghalaya, amongst others, as well as dance troupes from seven other States of the country. The visiting dance troupes included performances of the Gussadi dance of Andhra Pradesh, Gaur Maria dance of Chattisgarh, Dandiya Raas of Gujarat, Kullu Nati of Himachal Pradesh, Sambalpuri dance of Orisssa and Choliya dance of Uttaranchal. The folk dance troupes also performed in Mokokchung on March 12, Jaluki in Peren district on March 18 and Medziphema on March 19 as part of the NEZCC’s outreach programme.

The North East Spring Festival 2011 also had something in store for book lovers, students and the people of Dimapur in the form of the Dimapur Book fair. Organized by the National Book Trust in close collaboration with NEZCC and the district administration of Dimapur, the fair was participated by as many as 26 publishing houses which had come from different parts of the country. Marked by well-attended panel discussions, seminars, workshops, poets and writers meets and competitions for children, the book fair was regarded to be a major step in the development of the reading culture of the people of Dimapur. The fair, which continued for five days, was inaugurated by eminent litterateur Prof Temsula Ao and Dimapur Deputy Commissioner Maowati Aiyer.

Moving on to the performing arts festival, while puppeteers from Rajasthan enthralled the students and children who had come to the fair Guwahati-based theatre group Stage Fusion also performed two of their acclaimed comedies, including their latest ‘Date at 8’. Directed by Rupa Hazarika Som, the Guwahati-based group has been able to earn much acclaim over the last couple of years. Date at 8 had been staged for the first time in Guwahati earlier this year.

With the showcasing of varied art and cultural forms for almost a week, the North East spring fest drew to a close on March 20 with a fusion music evening. While Khasi guitarist-singer Lou Majaw and his group of friends was the biggest draw, the Naga choir led by Lipokmar Tzudir and the Llanfair Chamber Choir from Mizoram truly took the evening took its highest crescendo.

All in all the North East Spring Fest 2011 proved to be a gala success, truly reflecting the joy, exuberance and optimism of spring time.


Posted on March 26, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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