Afro takes you all the way to Africa

continental drift

Afro takes you all the way to Africa

Delhi recently witnessed a breathtaking show of juggling arts, tribal dance, dramatic street entertainment and an exhibition of sculptures and paintings that had been put together to celebrate the effervescent Afro culture at Select City Walk, Saket.

Africa, as often referred to as the “dark continent”, has had her traditional, classical and folk arts misapprehended by Western scholars. To enhance public understanding and appreciation of African art and culture, the festival was dedicated exclusively to the African way of life.

The acrobatic group who came from Tanzania left their audience astounded with their eclectic performances which were backed by foot-thumping Afro-Caribbean music. You would have been forgiven for thinking that people were flying in the mall. They tossed their spinning props across the stage to one another. And just when one would have thought that this was going over the top, they would amaze one with that for probably, anyone else on earth, be impossible to perform.

The audience went ballistic and showered the troupe with claps and whistles when they watched the table bricks balancing act. The Afro festival brought to life the experience of its people as a living and dynamic tradition which continues to evolve even now.
The festival also presented beautiful exotics and sculptures from Africa in bold shades of red, ochre-yellow and ebony black. Featuring works of Thomas Ongon'ga, Michael Soi, Edward Orato, Dennis Muragiri and James Oluoch, each creation showcased the artist’s mood, aesthetics and personal journey of creating their pieces of art.

The themes at the art exhibition were inspired by everyday activities of the locals. The figures were tall and shapely with their dark ebony tones and embellished beautifully. The paintings were either on canvas with batik commonly used.

“My aim was to bring down the level of art to the common man. I wanted people to understand and appreciate art. And with this show, we wanted to give the people the total touch and feel of Africa,” says Anjali Jain, Kala Drishti founder and curator.
When asked about the brilliant dancers, Anjali exclaims, “they are so down to earth people. They are originally africans but have settled themselves in Gujarat now.”
“Maybe in Gurgaon, sometime in the end of this year or begining of next year,” says Anjali, can we expect another african festival.

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