Home Dehradun Doon Residents Enchanted by Cultural Presentations at Heritage Mahotsav

Doon Residents Enchanted by Cultural Presentations at Heritage Mahotsav

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Virasat Art and Heritage Festival 2023 Commences with a Vibrant Program
By Our Staff Reporter 
Dehradun, 28 Oct: The renowned cultural event of Uttarakhand, the ‘Virasat Art and Heritage Festival 2023,’ was inaugurated by Savita Kapoor, MLA of Dehradun Cantt area, at the Dr BR Ambedkar Stadium on Kaulagarh Road on Friday evening. The lighting of the lamp marked the commencement of the event. The occasion was graced by the presence of esteemed guests including  AK Balyan, former CED of Petron LNG and Director of Human Resources at ONGC, Anasuya Prasad, R Madhavan, former Chairman of Postal Services at HAL, and RK Singh, Secretary General of REACH Virasat, accompanied by Suryakant Dhasmana.
The cultural extravaganza commenced with the captivating Chholiya dance, a traditional folk dance originating from the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand and the Western Province of Nepal. This centuries-old sword dance, once associated with wedding processions, has evolved into a symbol of Kumaoni and Far Western culture. Accompanied by martial music, the sword-wielding performers engaged in a synchronized dance, simulating mock combat. The historical roots of Chholiya dance can be traced back over a thousand years, embedded in the martial traditions of the Kumaoni and Khas people.
In earlier times, traditional musical instruments such as Dhol, Damou, and Nagade were used alongside the Chholiya dance. In this edition, Casio keyboards were incorporated to enhance the presentation’s entertainment value. The performance began with the arrival of the deities, followed by renditions of traditional compositions like “Bedu Pako Baro Masa,” and featured acts such as “Nav Murti Madobaj,” “Chhola Yudh,” and “Minar.” The main artists in this Chholiya dance included Gopal Ram on Dhol, Deepak Ram performing Chholiya, Dinesh Kumar on Casio, Anand Ram as the singer, Diwan Ram on Tuturi, Bachiram on Masakbeen, Bhardu Ram on Bean Baja, Prem Prakash with Ranasingha, Amit Kumar showcasing Taal, Shankar Ram playing Damo, Jayal Arya performing Chholiya, and 0Inder Ram on Damo.
In addition to the Chholiya dance, the program featured a mesmerizing flute performance by Rakesh Chaurasia. Rakesh Chaurasia, a prodigy from a distinguished musical lineage, is a prominent disciple of the legendary flute player, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. His exceptional talent and unwavering dedication have established him as a remarkable artist. Rakesh Chaurasia has showcased his prowess on the global stage, enthralling audiences at classical and semi-classical music festivals worldwide, including Japan, Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the United States. His virtuosity extends to collaborations with leading figures in the Indian film industry.
Mithilesh Kumar Jha, the tabla accompanist, received his early training from his father, Gopikant Jha, and later studied under the guidance of the renowned sarod maestro, Amjad Ali Khan. Mithilesh has consistently performed alongside vocalists and instrumentalists in India and abroad.