Fusion and tradition score a hit in Capital


Claps, whistles and chants of “Once more! Once more!” rent the City Hall, Exhibition Road on January 21 at the ongoing ‘Days of North-East Cultural Festival — Namaste Nepal’ organised by the Indian Cultural Centre, Embassy of India. Some members of the audience were seen dancing in their seats while others tapped their feet to the musical beats. As the Thoibi Manipuri Dance and Cultural Research Institute, India performed their dances, people watched the show with much delight.

Thougal Jagoi, one of their performances that signified the rejoicing of gods and goddesses, was interesting during the end when the dancers made the movements of pulling a rope. The music relevant to the beats was an apt presentation. Khoigu Na-lam — a tribal folk dance — was another attraction. This dance took one to the forest of Kabui tribal village. Kabui is a tribe living on the western mountains of Manipur. Noted for their vigorous foot work, sharp, clean and graceful body movements, the artistes slowly and gradually moved their feet and hands all the while grabbing the audience’s attention. The artistes depicted bees flying to collect nectar and live in clusters with their body movements.

Not only the Indian artistes, but Nepali artistes from the Kathmandu Metropolitan City too entertained the audience with their invigorating performances. It was a new experience to hear a fusion of Titanic’s My Heart Will Go On to Nepali traditional musical instruments. Music artistes Prabesh Maharjan (tabla and maadal), Nikesh Maharjan (flute) Samuel Gandharba (sarangi) astounded the audience with the western-eastern fusion. Their musical beats to Chyangwa Hoi Chyangwa, and a mash up of Mohani Lagla Hai and Jhamke Fuli was a treat for music lovers. When Guru Ruben Masangba (vocalist) came up with a fusion of rock music with North-Eastern melodies, the audience started moving their bodies following the music. Princess of Mountain — appreciation for the beauty of women and kindness was reflected in this song. Songs of Honey Bee bird — an ode to the birds was another performance. “I am trying to express how deforestation has had an impact on ecology. These birds have to fly a long distances in search of food,” informed Masangba. His band members Ringo P Golmei (bass) and Momo Laishram (drums) made his performance an entertaining one with their energetic music.

Nepali Jhayure dance — a dance danced in the Far-Western Development Region during rice planting and harvesting — made the audience dance in high spirits with its musical beats and dance moves. Pancha Buddha dance, Kumari dance were some other performances of the evening.

“It was a good experience performing here. We can exchange our cultures through such programmes. The audience here encouraged and appreciated us,” shared Sangita Thokchom, a professional artiste and a Manipuri dancer.