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Art Alert: From the Land of Kings, Indian musicians visit Egypt

Led by Eshak Khan, the Kalbeliya troupe will perform in four cities across Egypt

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Jan 2016
Rajasthan
Rajasthani musicians (Photo: courtesy of MACIC)
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Indian folk dance troupe Kalbeliya will bring the dance gems of Rajasthan to a variety of stages across Egypt, with stops in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia.

The performances celebrate India's Republic Day on 26 January, which marks when the country's constitution came into force in 1950.

The troupe consists of 10 folkloric musicians and dancers led by Eshak Khan, a renowned folk artist from Jaisalmer who belongs to a well-known Rajasthani family, descendants of Rajputs and Muslims.

Culturally embedded in the Thar Desert, the Land of the Kings, the troupe will perform music of their local heritage, songs which were passed from one generation to another.

They sing songs about Alexander the Great, about the local Maharajas, and past battles in the region. The performance will include the Kalbeliya Dance, the Ghoomar Dance, the Fire Dance and the Terah Taal (Thirteen Beat) Dance, among others, to music played on traditional Indian instruments.

One of such instruments is the algoza, a pair of flutes made of bamboo played together, like the Egyptian arghoul. Another local instrument is the morchang, an instrument which was initially used by the shepherds to call their animals. With the emergence of folk groups, the morchang was incorporated into music.

This is not the first time Indian culture has come to Egypt.

Over the past years, three editions of India by the Nile ­ a festival of performing and visual arts have taken place in the country. A fourth is scheduled to take place this year. The festival brings a variety of art forms to Egyptian viewers.

Indian performers have also participated in the International Festival For Drums and Traditional Arts, which has taken place in Egypt.

The last time the Rajasthani performers visited Egypt was during India by the Nile in 2014, when Rajasthan Josh band performed in several cities, attracting large crowds.

Programme:

Wednesday 27 January, 8pm
Sayed Darwish Theater (Alexandria Opera House), Fouad Street, Mahatat Al-Raml, Alexandria

Thursday 28 January, 8pm
Al Gomhouria Theatre, 12 Al-Gumhouriya Street, Abdeen, Cairo

Friday 29 January, 8pm
Ismailia Cultural Palace, Ismailia

Saturday 30 January, 12pm
Book Fair grounds. Nasr City, Cairo

Sunday 31 January, 8pm
Port Said Cultural Palace, Port Said 

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