Tunes of the Dunes


Come November, and the sleepy Kanoi dunes of Jaisalmer will resonate with the sounds of Rajasthani folk music and the beats of electronica, as the first edition of Ragasthan Music Festival takes off. To be held from November 16-18, the festival aims to bring out the nomad in most of us with its camp-out style. "Around 35 artistes will be performing at the festival and we will have three stages Morio Main Stage, Ammara Electronic Stage and Olun World Stage catering to different genres," says Mumbai-based Keith Menon, one of the organisers.

Ujalo, a film tent, will also be put up at the festival where various Indian and international films will be screened under the starry sky. The line-up of films includes Dev Benegal's Road,Movie that complements the nomadic theme of the festival. A mini sci-fi film festival will also be held till late at night on all three days. Photography exhibitions and graphic and comic book zones will also be part of Ragasthan.

The sounds and smells of the desert city will define this festival, as Menon's team brings to the fore a number of less-known traditions and art forms of Rajasthan. "We have found a group of artistes who perform bingle, hour-long breathless poetry recitals. In ancient times, when kings went to war, these royal singers would recite poetry of the king's ancestors that would serve as an inspiration," says Menon. A day pass is for Rs 1,650, and a three-day pass for Rs 4,000.


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