Celebrating the Vividness of Cultures: Cosmopolitan
NIT Rourkela may be an institute of diverse cultures and beliefs, but when it comes to entertainment, all come together to delve into the festive moods and enjoy the cultural heritage of our country. The Cosmopolitan fest 2018, reborn from the ashes of the ‘Multi-Ethnic Fest’ two years ago, celebrated the unity among the diversity of the NITR junta. The darkness of the winter night seemed to fade in the glow of the beautifully decorated stage at the NCC grounds. The chairs were set, food stalls serving mouth-watering dishes opened and the lights lit. The air was filled with the murmur of excitement as this was something new for both the freshmen and the sophomores. The fest may have been divided into various categories of region, culture and language; the primal aim was always a united stand. It was to celebrate and embrace the differences we have.
The “Multi Ethnic-Fest” had been scrapped off due to a huge budget and the increasing total number of fests in the Institute. It was renewed on 18th of September through a proposal put forward by the Arts and Cultural Society in front of the Director to reintroduce the multi-ethnic festival which was then agreed upon by Director, Dean and President SAC but with a new name, the Cosmopolitan Festival.
Cosmopolitan saw a well-decorated stage, flashy lights and resounding speakers as the audience slowly started to pour in, At about 6:45 PM, the night kickstarted with the cordial Opening Ceremony. Mr Ajit Das, the Chief Guest, alongside Prof. Maya Das, the Guest of Honour, Mrs Sarmishtha Biswas, standing in for Prof. Animesh Biswas, the Director, Prof. S. Panigrahi, Dean (Student Welfare), Prof. S. Chakraverty, President, SAC, Prof. S. N. Alam, Vice President, Art and Cultural Society, SAC, and Mr Nalini Nihar Nayak, SAC Officer, adorned the night as Mrs Sarmishtha Biswas declared Cosmopolitan open. Prof. S. Panigrahi expressed his gratitude towards the fest as a melting pot of diverse cultures and recognised that Cosmopolitan is a means to nurture the talents of the students in various arts.
The opening act was a synergetic mix of Ghoomar, Sambalpuri Dance, Bihu, and Garba that carried the whole essence of Cosmopolitan 2018.
The first musical performance of the day was by Heartbeats. They performed a few rich Qawalli songs and enthralled the audience with brilliance.
Next up was an energetic Marathi Folk Dance, Lavani, performed by Team Marathi and Tadka, which pumped the audience up with excitement through its vigour.
Then was a Garhwali Dance performance by Team Dance Versity. The awesome costumes and authentic songs hooked the audience as they appreciated this form of folk dance from Uttarakhand.
After this was the Assamese State Anthem which was sung by Assamese students of NIT Rourkela. All the audience members stood up in reverence to the beautiful state of Assam.
Next up was a folk song style Uttarang from the central parts of India. The folk song genre derives its name from the extensive use of the upper notes of octaves in their songs. They managed to capture the audience and gather applauds.
Then was the famous Bihu Dance which cheered the audience up with their pleasant songs and dance moves and managed to replicate the mood of celebration present during the festivities of Assam.
The first drama performance was presented by the Raajwade Group. Their act was the story of Panna Bai, a hand-maiden of the Queen of Mewar, who had to sacrifice the life of her son in order to protect the pride of her state and save the infant prince, who went to be known as Maharana Pratap and became the icon of bravery and pride.
Next up was a Gujarati Dance by team Dancers Divine. It was a unique mix of traditional and modern songs which energised the audience.
In the line, next was Rhythmic Eagles, a team dancing in the spirit of Telangana. Their semiclassical form of dance was energetic and synchronous, which managed to amaze the audience.
Next up was the folk dance from the deep reaches of Bastar, Bastariya. This traditional folk dance expressed their culture as the audience applauded to their group dance performance.
Then the gears shifted to a Nepali folk song. The Nepali trio performed a heartwarming group of songs as the audience grooved to the music.
After this was a Kuchipudi dance by Ayusna Subudhi. She magnificently presented this famous classical dance form of South India as the audience applauded in awe of the dance.
Next up was a performance by Afghani Dance Group. They performed a variety of dance types, reflective of their diverse Afghan culture. Their dances were energetic, and the audience too appreciated with hearty applause.
Then was the performance of Danda Nacha, originating from the district of Ganjam in Odisha. This two-week long dance festival is in the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali. The audience experienced an ancient tradition of Odisha as well as chuckled heartily to a comedic segment in this dance drama.
Next, shifting the gears of the night was a performance of Hindustani Classical Music, called Sur and Taal, one of the most important styles of classical music of India. The music group impressed the audience with sheer magnificence a received good applause of appreciation.
After this was the Islanders Group, which performed a few Sri Lankan songs and set a jolly mood. The songs, accompanied by choruses and whistles made the audience cheerful, and they showed their response in good applause.
Then came a Malayali group, with Oppana songs, representative of the Muslim culture in Kerala. The songs were feel-good and received profuse applauds,
Then was a dance performance to Thiruvathira songs. This South Indian dance was amazed the audience with its excellence.
Next up was a Bengali dance performance in celebration of the the Bengali New Year. This energetic piece captivated the audience with its intensity.
Then was a Bengali folk song performance, which captured tradition and modernity in its essence. The audience admired the songs and responded with applause.
Probably the most exotic dance of the evening was this, Fandango. This famous Spanish folk dance mesmerised the audience with its graceful moves and festive beats.
Moreover, the last performance of the night was a dance performance by Team Dance Sensations. It was a fusion dance which amazed the audience.
Along with the excellent dance, music and drama performances which were on stage that day, an array of anchors also ensured that the enthusiasm of the audience didn’t die down. It was not only the stage performances which were being judged by the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour, but it was also the anchors for the day who were being marked.
After a plethora of performances came to an end for the first day of Cosmopolitan, one couldn’t expect any less the day after.
Day 1 had already set a benchmark for the performances to come. To showcase so much in such less time is by no means an easy task. The evening began with the first performance by Thillana, a group of singers who sang songs from Tamil Nadu, hence refreshing the atmosphere with soothing yet jovial music.
It was followed by a Baredi Dance group, who dance in the name of Lord Krishna. This dance form from Madhya Pradesh showed us how spirituality and Dance are intertwined at some point. It garnered a massive cheer from the crowd.
Next came the Magadhi Boys with a folk song. Their musical performance was a representation of the culture from the far reaches of authentic Bihar. The audience had a treat and applauded in appreciation.
It was followed by the Group Bodoland Patriots who entered the stage with swords and shields and danced with an air of patriotism. A mixture of warfare and dance is what they represented.
Next were The Dazzlers, the Punjabi folk dance group. As soon as the music set off, people from the audience found themselves grooving and tapping their feet to the music.
They were followed by the Rajwade group, performing the Ghoomar dance form, recently popularised by the bollywood movies, and a trend already started after the group left the audience awed with both the performance as well as their mesmerising costumes.
In the line were the Nepali Dance Group with their upbeat track and attractive costumes. Their performance resonated with the audience and they started humming the music.
Next in line was the Beat Breakers, the Kolatam dancers representing Andhra Pradesh. Their fast paced dance was synced to each beat, and such a large group dancing in harmony was a treat to watch.
It was followed by the Bangla folk song, which brought back memories to the bengali audience sitting and the crowd and moved the audience as a whole. The soothing music was a much-needed delight to the ears.
Next to come were the Star Angels, representing one of the most popular dance forms, Sambalpuri, from the land of famous tourist attraction. They were probably one of the most awaited dance groups a the audience let a thunderous cheer as they entered the stage.
Next to perform were the Arab Ethnic dance group. They proved that to be a part of Indian culture; one does not need to be physically connected to India. With the slender moves by the girls and the leg shaking moves by the boys, they left the crowd wanting for more.
Next in line was the Kalinga Kalakaar who enacted a historical play about the Konark Temple or popularly known as the Sun Temple. They taught us how the past of such monuments could have a huge impact on we way we perceive our culture.
It was followed by the Maestro, who brought back the roots of Hindustani Classical music. It had been said in the past that Hindustani Classical music has the power over emotions and so they did. Soon people started to sway to the rhythm.
Next to perform was the North Indian Mystics, whose act was a portrayal of devotion and surrendering to a higher power. Their performance brought out the mystical side of Hindu religion.
When classical performs, can MJ be far behind? It brought back the moves of the iconic legend; the next performance showed the impact the western sensation Michael Jackson had on Indians.
Next to perform were the rich Carnatic Music group, Abheri, representing the variation of Hindustani music as it travelled the way to South India, combining all the regional languages of the South.
It was followed by the dance group Gondhal, the Maharashtrian classical dance form. Their dance was full of energy and just added to the mood of the evening with their colourful attire.
As the evening tended to the end, the penultimate performance was given by Nirvana, the English folk song group. They brought something new to the audience. Their music was indeed liberating, quite true to their name.
The last performance was by the Kerala Natanam, a cultural drama by the people of Kerala. Being the last performance, they gave their all to it as the audience never wanted the satirical performance to end.
After two days packed with cultural extravaganza, the end had arrived. After all the performances were over, the guests were called upon the stage to announce the winners.
Here is the list of winners in each category.
|Dance||2nd||Rhythmic Eagles||Marathi Tadka|
|Music||1st||Bengali Folk Song|
Prize Winners of Cosmopolitan 2018 Day 2
Cosmopolitan was a success in its regard. With a limited time frame and a small budget, Cosmopolitan managed to deliver an entertaining two nights worth or cultural diversity, and in the process, bringing unity. Team Monday Morning congratulates the organising members and hopes that the next edition is a better and grander one.
[Photograph Credits for Featured Image: Third Eye, NITRKL]