This was supposed to be my BIG break, sort of my career-changing thing but like all things promising it crashed because my Editor thrilled as she was with my work (her very words I swear) couldnt carry it this month. I took great pains in writing this and was seriously pertubed when I was not disappointed enough! I really dont know if you can make head or tail of it (it's long, was supposed to be a two page feature!!) but I had to put it up to honour my vanity!!
Dominique La Pierre in his masterpiece “The City of Joy” remarked wryly that the French don’t party they celebrate! If the festivities of Bon Jour India were anything to go by, his assessment was most accurate! Known as much for their love of art as for their wines and sense of style, the Festival of France was nothing short of spectacular. In collaboration with the Krishnakriti Foundation, the Alliance Francaise brought to Hyderabad the pomp and grandeur of any Parisian art festival.
The Penn Masala concert at the Lumbini Park was a show stopper in the true sense. With the laser show as the perfect backdrop, they wowed one and all. The group’s repertoire of fusion music was synonymous to the event’s theme which was a perfect confluence of the East and West. No wonder that the applause reverberated long after the group performed their last song!
China Moses, the very embodiment of an all round entertainer and an MTV host performed alongside the reputed French pianist Raphael Lemonnier to bring to Hyderabad the finer nuances of Jazz. With this artistic pair at the helm, the evening was a memorable one.
Thoranayudhum, the Kudiyattam performance by Margi Madhu and troupe showcased the rich heritage of India. This ancient theatrical form depicts scenes from the rich mythological history of India using dance as a medium. Immensely enjoyable, the performance can be rightly called as “a divine display of dance”.
Other noteworthy performances included that of Dobet Gnahore, the famous percussionist of the “Bete tradition”. Discussions were held, opinions were heard and workshops conducted. The “Mayakkam-Oxymore”, a dance, music and light show was a collaboration of three different disciplines and appealed to the spectators because of their unique combination of sensibilities and aesthetics. The French film festival at Prasad’s introduced the classics of French cinema to the movie lovers of Hyderabad. Mention also must be made of “Les giraffes”, the animal operetta at Necklace Road. It was a whirlwind of images, sounds of emotions! All the shows had a unifying thread of uniqueness and passionate performers.
Each performance had a story to share. As different as chalk and cheese, the plethora of stunning shows could easily rival that of Broadway’s! With elements of Indian culture, the French ethnicity beautifully interwoven, the festival was on par with any on the world stage. No stone was left unturned to ensure that the events were a resounding success. The diverse range and the sheer assortment meant that Hyderabad has finally arrived as one of the premier art destinations of the country!
Hyderabad had a taste of its erstwhile Nizami splendor, with the interesting blend of performers and quality music. Be it an old couple (wrapped up in woolens because of the cold), youngsters tapping their foot to the energy of the music or connoisseurs who are particular about what they listen to, the festival was a celebration of the coming together of some of the oldest civilizations bound together by their passion towards art and commitment towards providing quality entertainment. By the time the festival was over, everyone had only one word on their lips. Enchante!