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Press Release |  03 Feb 2017 14:02 |  By RnMTeam

Rajasthan's old folk music traditions steal the show at the first-ever Ranthambore Festival

MUMBAI: Ranthambore Festival, a not-for-profit festival that aimed to showcase the richness of Rajasthani folk music and wildlife landscape did that and much more in its first edition from 27-29 January 2017.

More than 3,000 people over three days immersed themselves into a weekend packed with moonlit performances by over 40 artists, an open-air wildlife film festival with interactive sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions on conservation, late-night folk music performances, heritage walks, safaris and more, all set against the backdrop of a breathtaking venue, The Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambore.

Envisioned by the NGO Puqaar Foundation under the patronage of the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Ranthambore Festival has been designed to be a platform to honour Rajasthan’s little-known, excellent musicians and celebrate the singular music traditions, while also raising awareness on the need to preserve our natural habitat and wildlife.

Day One of the festival opened with screenings of documentaries at the Wildlife Film Festival, showcasing films by acclaimed filmmakers such as Giuseppe Bucciarelli, Saravana Kumar, Sandesh Kadur, S Nallamuthu, and scintillating folk music performances on the Annexe Lawns stage by 77-year-old Hakim Khan on the Kamaicha, Kutal Khan, Bariam Khan and other artists. Saturday saw yet another stellar folk music showcase by Rajasthani folk musicians Hakim Khan, Taga Rama Bheel and Chagna Ram on the kamaicha, matka and algoza. That was just a teaser of the riches that were on offer during the weekend.

The evenings saw the BookASmile Hathikund Mainstage light up with opening day performances by Sufi singer Parveen Sabrina Khan and a piano recital by Western classical pianist Karl Lutchmayer. Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café brought their inimitable energy to the stage and received a lot of audience love and cheer. Dancer Mallika Sarabhai and Darpana Academy of Performing Arts put up a colourful performance that showcased different folk dance forms from India. On Day Two, performances by Maati Baani and the Rajasthan Police Band in a Sufi Avatar mesmerised the audience, while the powerhouse performance by Ustad Ma Zila Khan and The Nomads (Rajeev Raja on flute, Fabrizio Cassol on Saxophone) met with roaring applause from the crowd.

Saturday also saw a packed house at the premier screening of ‘The Unforgotten Music of Rajasthan’ a documentary that chronicles the journey undertaken by the festival to remote corners of Rajasthan over 12 days to showcase legendary folk musicians, most of whom were performing at the festival.

Every night the festival concluded with attendees settling in for magical late-night folk performances at the First Stone Amphitheatre, a stage that lent a warm, intimate atmosphere despite its massive size. The stage saw a midnight sarangi performance by Bhanvru Khan, Lok Bhajan by Ugam Dan Ji, pabuji ki phad performance by Kailash Dan and much more.

The festival also saw participation from business leaders such as Ashish Hemrajani (CEO, BookMyShow), Ashutosh Phatak (Founder, True School of Music), Vijay Nair (Founder and CEO, OML), Farzana Cama Balpande (CEO, BookASmile), who brought a distinctive perspective to the panel discussions on topics such as ‘Evolution of Patronage in a Modern Music Landscape’ and ‘How to break forth a traditional folk artists in today’s music industry.

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