Cultural extravaganza awaits the First Couple

Cultural extravaganza awaits the First Couple

As the American president and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at the portico of the sprawling 80-year-old edifice atop  Raisina Hill around 7 pm, they will be greeted with traditional bugle and a medley of percussion from across the country.

As they settle down in the Durbar Hall, an opera piece in Khasi — presented Northeast’s India group Shillong Chamber Choir—will kickstart a 20-minute entertainment evening.
The choir will sing four songs. After the opening piece, they will sing a jazzed-up version of “Yeh Dosti” from “Sholay”.

This will be followed by “To God be the glory” — a popular 19th-century hymn composed by William Howard Doane and penned by American lyricist Fanny Crossby.  
The programme will end with “Deep River” — an Afro-American hymn.

After the event at the Durbar Hall, the high-profile guests will leave for Mughal Gardens for a state dinner with President Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others.
The banquet will begin with short speeches by the two presidents. Dinner at the expansive Mughal Gardens is a departure from the normal practice as the president normally hosts dinner at the dinner hall, also called the Banquet Hall.

At the Gardens, folk musicians from Rajasthan will team up with Indian classical artistes on the sitar, violin, flute and tabla to enthrall the guests. Leading exponents of three forms of classical dance— Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi—will perform. Apart from this, the naval band will play melodious tunes of both countries.

As the first couple visit to India just a days after Diwali, Rashtrapati Bhavan officials have also arranged a special display of fireworks besides illuminating the buildings to give a feeling of festival of lights.

To ensure that the banquet is a grand affair, over 100 important personalities of the country representing the fields of art, culture, media, government and politics have been invited. The dinner will have a lavish spread of dishes created by the Rashtrapati Bhavan kitchen staff.

Comments (+)