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8th Bal Sangam inaugurated in national capital

Week-long children’s festival assembles the flavours of North East

New Delhi: The sweet melody of flute, the dug dug dug sound of the dug dugi, the distinct music of Dotara, nothing compares to the sweet memories of the childhood mela.

A flexible girl, a juggler, some clowns in myriad colours are nowhere to be found in today’s time, more so in an urban setting.

The week-long ‘mela-like’ treat for children has started with the inauguration of the 8th Bal Sangam brought by Sanskaar Rang Toli (T.I.E Co.) of National School of Drama.

The ceremony was inaugurated by Nandita Das, noted cine and theatre personality, Barry John, renowned theatre and film personality, Ravindra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India and Ratan Thiyam, Chairman NSD, Society.

Starting from Nov 14 this week-long festival will bring the unique and traditional performing arts to the capital as a treat to the urban children.

“This is one of the finest platforms for art, culture, tradition in the form of drama and folk art, which is a great step towards promoting India’s rare talents that India should be actually proud of. I am extremely happy and ecstatic to be here today and supporting this grand festival of children,” Nandita Das said.

This year, NSD’s Sanskar Rang Toli – Theatre in Education Co. – which was established in 1989 celebrates its Silver Jubilee year and Bal Sangam 2013 marks the beginning of the year-long celebrations.

Commencing on the Children’s Day, the week-long festival at NSD Campus, New Delhi promises to be a traditional, cultural, and mela like delight for its attendees.

From folk dance, martial arts, acrobats, street performances like juggling, magic shows, puppet shows and many more experiences, Bal Sangam will present 10 group’s vivid, distinct and on the verge of extinction performing arts.

Ratan Thiyam, NSD Chairperson, said, “North East Region has very rich traditional and cultural heritage. Various art forms are so rare and exquisite it has become the need of the hour that they be brought back into the limelight and be given due attention they so right fully deserve.”

With special focus on North East Region, Bal Sangam 2013 brings the unexplored talents and for many un-witnessed traditional performing arts by children from this region. It took six months of hardwork in finding these 11 traditional folk performers (child artist groups) from all over the North East by T.I.E. Co. The artists are not trained or taught; rather they have inherited from their families who still practice these performing arts which are now on the verge of extinction.

Also taking a step forward towards educating the children, Sanskaar Rang Toli (T.I.E Co) will be holding special performances in the morning session with various schools who has tied up with NSD. The students will also have discussion sessions with artists who are experts of the art form presented and attend various workshops organized during the day.

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