The six-day national folk dance festival ‘Lok Tarang’ has begun in the capital on Friday at the Siri Fort Auditorium. The festival was inaugurated by the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in the presence of Tourism and Culture Minister Smt. Ambika Soni.
Organised by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India in association with the seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) every year, the festival aims to present the rich cultural heritage of the country through various folk dance forms. It is a regular event prior to the Republic Day celebrations.
About 700 folk artists from 28 states and two Union Territories will participate while presenting 43 folk dances which are an integral part of Indian art and culture. The event provides a unique opportunity to witness colourful, vibrant and authentic folk dances drawn from various parts of the country.
Though there is very little difference between ‘folk’ and ‘tribal’ dance – a cultural one – Indian folk dances generally constitute both, mostly performed by adivasis or other aboriginal populations. Those non-classical dance forms primarily talks about rural tradition.
Each folk dance reflects either the social or religious beliefs of the particular region. However, dance forms like “Ghoomra” (Orissa) and “Pai Danda” (Uttar Pradesh) are nearly moving to extinction due to lack of patronage. At a time when people are less interested to participate in any folk forms, events like ‘Lok Tarang’ will facilitate the promotion and preservation of local culture.
The festival will continue in Delhi till 28th January, 2009, and for the first time it will also be held at Jaipur from 1st to 3rd February, 2009 and at Chandigarh from 6th to 8th February, 2009. It is planned to be staged in Jaipur for three days at Ravindra Manch. The entry is free for everyone.