Folk, fusion dance enthral Rashtrapati Bhavan

 Artistes from the Republic Day parade tableaux performed again before President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday, this time at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President played host to artistes, officials and tribal leaders involved with the various tableaux at the Republic Day parade and cadets from the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS).

Artistes from across India performed dances such as the Mayur Nritya from Mathura, Rouf from Kashmir, fusion Bharatanatyam on wheelchairs, the Odissi from Odisha, and a combination of all Indian classical dance forms by NCC cadets.

The performances took place at the sprawling central lawns, part of the Mughal Garden, at the President’s estate a day after the country celebrated its 64th Republic Day.

Artistes from Mathura dressed as Lord Krishna and Radha danced to the folk song mor ban aayo rasiya (he came dressed as a peacock), based on a folklore that Lord Krishna once transformed himself into a peacock to appease Radha.

A group of men paralysed from the waist down performed a fusion Bharatanatyam on wheelchairs. “It was very heartening that Mrs Mukherjee was encouraging us. It boosted our confidence and made us want to do much more,” says 24-year-old Ajay Kumar Tanwar from Delhi.

“I wanted to shake the President’s hand, but I was very nervous,” says 14-year-old Himanshi Dahiya, an NCC cadet.

Mementos were presented to the President by visiting dignitaries from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the NCC and the sports and youth affairs ministry. “Our cadets learn the diverse and rich culture of India through such events,” says NCC director-general Lt Gen P S Bhalla.

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