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Jorhat to wake up to Northeast splendour as part of NEZCC’S Silver Jubilee fest

The Best of the Northeast lined up for the North East Spring Festival

Thang-ta


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.

In keeping with the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) of the country, the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) is organizing in Jorhat a mega Northeast-centric carnival capturing the mood and brilliance of springtime. With more than 250 artistes participating, the festival will showcase the biggest ensemble of folk dances, folk music, craftsmen, choral singers, tribal folk musicologists and others who will present the best of regional dance, music, culture, et al.

The North East Spring Festival, will be inaugurated in the presence of Honourable Chief Minister of Assam Shri Tarun Gogoi, Cultural Minister Pranati Phukan, NEZCC Chairman and Honourable Nagaland Governor Shri Nikhil Kumar and a host of other luminaries, at the Jorhat Court Field on March 24 next.

Tarun Gogoi

Som Kamei


From the rhythmic steps of the Nunu Pipi dance of the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh to the mesmering Cheraw of Mizoram; be it the fierce display of warrior skills of the Thang-ta and Maibang dances to the graceful moves of Wangala dancers – this festival will reflect the best of the culture from each North-eastern State. A 60-member troupe from the other Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) will also be participating in the festival, which also has performances by premier experimental musicians Guru Rewben Mashangva of Manipur and Naad Brahma from Assam lined up.

The decision to host the Spring Festival in Jorhat of Upper Assam was made following the tremendous success that the NEZCC’s premier Octave festival received in other parts of the country in the past few years, and also in keeping with the mandate of the cultural Centre. NEZCC Director Som Kamei says, “Our Centre annually organizes a showcased event, “Octave” in different parts of the country to highlight the rich cultural heritage and art-forms of the region. In fact, Octave has become one of the biggest and most successful events to be organized by the Zonal Cultural Centres under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Following the tremendous success of the festival in other parts of the country, there have been demands within the region itself for such festivals wherein we introduce people in second-tier cities with the richness and diversity of our culture. With 2012 being the Silver Jubilee year of the ZCCs of the country, Jorhat, with its rich cultural heritage, was undoubtedly our first choice for the festival.”

Hem Hazarika of Naad Brahma


A major thrust area of the NEZCC has been to promote the lesser known art forms of the different States of the region, especially in the hinterland. Not surprisingly, the North East Spring Festival seeks to place lesser known art forms like Khupilile of the Pochury tribe of Nagaland and Ghantu dance of Sikkim on the same platform as much more established folk dance forms like Bihu of Assam and Dhol Pung of Manipur, informed Kamei.

The entire festival will be choreographed by internationally acclaimed Assamese folk musicologist Dr Prassana Gogoi. Entry to the event is free.

About Northeast India and Northeastern spring festivals

Northeast India is known for its geological marvels, nature’s splendor and an unparalleled spectrum of ethno-cultural multiplicity. A multitude of tribes and races with myriad ethno-cultural traditions, languages and religious beliefs live here side by side keeping alive their traditions, institutions, languages and religious practices. A fine texture of diverse hues spraypainted on a beautiful landscape makes this melting pot of human races a true ethnological wonder, perhaps the only one of its kind in the whole world.

About the Folk Art performances to be featured in North East Spring Festival

The following art performances from the Northeast will be featured in the spring festival.

1. ARUNACHAL PRADESH – Nunu Pipi
2. ASSAM – Bihu
Karbi dance
Dhol Badan
Naad Brahma
3. MANIPUR – Dhol Pung
Thang-ta
Maibung
Guru Rewben Mashangva
4. MEGHALAYA- Wangala
Pynther Orchestra
5. MIZORAM – Cheraw
6. SIKKIM – Ghantu dance
Chanting
7. TRIPURA – Mamita dance
Md Chanu Miah group
8. NAGALAND – Khupilile (Pochury)
Tati

OTHER ZONAL CULTURAL CENTRES: 60-member troupe

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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.

Riotous flavours of spring to erupt this March

Northeast India is known for its geological marvels, nature’s splendor and an unparalleled spectrum of ethno-cultural multiplicity. A multitude of tribes and races with myriad ethno-cultural traditions, languages and religious beliefs live here side by side keeping alive their traditions, institutions, languages and religious practices. A fine texture of diverse hues spraypainted on a beautiful landscape makes this melting pot of human races a true ethnological wonder, perhaps the only one of its kind in the whole world.

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.

This March, the varied flavours of the Northeast are all set to erupt in the form of the North East Spring Festival 2011 – a mega Northeast-centric carnival capturing the mood and brilliance of springtime. With more than 500 artistes participating, the festival will showcase the biggest ensemble of folk dances, folk music, puppeteers, craftsmen, poets, choral singers, theatre groups, chefs and others who will showcase the best of regional dance, music, handloom and handicraft products, cuisine, et al. Organized by North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), the festival will be held from March 16 to 20 in the NEZCC grounds, Dimapur.

While the festival also has a lot for music lovers in the form of choral and fusion music concerts featuring stalwarts like Khasi guitarist-singer Lou Majaw, a major highlight of the fest will be the performance of cultural troupes from Myanmar and Cambodia. Sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) under the Ministry of External Affairs, the international dance troupes will also perform in Lumami and Mokokchung as part of the NEZCC’s outreach programme. Cultural troupes from other Zonal Cultural Centres of the country will also perform in Diphu, Karbi Anglong of Assam and Medziphema of Nagaland.

And if you thought that was all, you better think again. Not just song and dance, the North East Spring festival also has something for book lovers in the form of a Northeast Book Fair organized by NEZCC in association with the National Book Trust.

The major features of North East Spring Festival 2011 are:

1. Folk Dance Choreography Show – March 16 and 17, 2011
2. Ethnic Costume Show of the Northeast – March 18, 2011
3. Theatre Show by Stage Fusion and Puppet Show – March 19, 2011
4. Choral Singing and Fusion Music (Mizoram, Nagaland and Lou Majaw from Shillong)
5. International Folk Dance performances from Myanmar and Laos – March 16, 2011
6. Northeast Indian Crafts Bazaar – March 16 to 20, 2011
7. Traditional Ethnic Food Court – March 16 to 20, 2011
8. Book Fair in association with National Book Trust – March 14 to March 20
9. Northeast Poetry Meet (Theme: Child Rights in association with United Tribal Society) – March 17 to 19, 2011
10. Folk Dances from 8 North East Indian States

The following dance performances from the Northeast would be featured in the spring festival: Domik Tsheri (Arunachal Pradesh), Bagromba (Assam), Thangta, Dhol and Pong Cholom (Manipur), Cheraw (Mizoram), Maroni dance (Sikkim), Lebong Bomani (Tripura), Archery, Shad Reit and Shad Weit dances (Meghalaya). From other parts of the country, one will get to watch performances like Sambalpuri dance of Orissa, Thodla Choufla of Uttarakhand, Kullu Nati of Himachal Pradesh, Gaur Maria of Chattisgarh, Gussadi of Andhra Pradesh and Dandia Ras Garbha of Gujarat.