Sunday, May 2, 2010

The nomads arrive

Through Nomadic Orchestra of the World, Chinh aims to re-introduce forgotten communities to the mainstream

The story of Indian tribes, especially nomadic, is a complex one. A way of life that has become difficult to sustain due to current socio-administrative pressures, combined with a diminishing recognition of their existence by the larger populace, has prompted husband-wife duo Meenakshi and Vinay Rai, through their organisation Chinh, to resort to the most popular form of cultural storytelling to help their cause — music. Chinh's ‘positioning local in global' initiative Nomadic Orchestra of the World (NOW) recently put up a performance, ‘Moksh', at the India International Centre lawns, where musicians from the Kalbeliya, Bhopa and Banjara communities from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh respectively put up a unique jugalbandi.

Unique, because, as Meenakshi informs us, these tribes don't see eye-to-eye. “They don't sit together, they don't play together,” she says. So, the musical instruments on stage are also seldom seen together, says Vinay – the been and bapang, for example. There are other complexities in the fusion, too, like the Banjaras' two dialects. “This is a confluence not only of dialects but also of cultures,” Meenakshi says. Seven years of research got condensed into NOW.

Full report here Hindu

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