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Bengal scroll artists' art-music synergy at fest

Posted on Jul 29 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, July 29 : Patachitra (scroll painting) artists from West Bengal will present traditional songs as they paint scrolls at the first Sahaj Parab Festival, beginning Aug 1.

Focusing exclusively on traditional or "root music", the four-day fest at the Rabindra Sadan auditorium here will bring together diverse genres of folk tunes from West Bengal, Rajasthan, Assam and south India.

"We want to make this a regular annual event that highlights traditional music and the culture associated with it. This year, we will focus mainly on Bengal's rich folk music culture," Bengali singer Lopamudra Mitra, whose company Lopamudra Productions is one of the organisers, told IANS Monday.

Mitra has collaborated with a folk music group Dohar for the fest.

"Kirtans, Baul music, Jhumur, Bhatiali and Pater gaan, or the songs sung by the scroll painters will be presented," she said, adding a group of Pata artists have been invited to display their unique synergy of music and art.

Known for their bright hues and resemblance to cave paintings, the ancient visual art form, originating in Bengal's Midnapore district, uses natural colours and derives inspiration from nature and local customs.

The artists are called Patuas who sing as they paint and unfurl the scrolls.

The rhythmic Chhau dance-music from Purulia district and Gambhira folk songs as well as the intense choreography by masked dancers from Malda district, are also part of the festival.

In addition, eminent folk singers, including Parvathy Baul, and gems of Indian classical music such as Girija Devi will perform at the festival.

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