New Delhi: A new cultural festival has made its way to Nahargarh Palace near the Ranthambore National Park that not only provides a dose of music but also serves for a cause and seeks to showcase the richness of Rajasthan’s wildlife and landscapes.
Ranthambore Festival is a three-day cultural fiesta that kicks off from today and is aimed at providing a platform to artists, conservationists, writers and thinkers actively debate upon the past, present and future of India’s music and environment.
Conceptualised by the NGO Puqaar Foundation under the patronage of the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the festival seeks to be a platform to honour Rajasthan’s little-known, world class musicians and celebrate the singular music traditions that have made the state synonymous with Indian folk music around the world.
The festival will also draw attention to Rajasthan’s legacy of wildlife, one of the reasons why the Nahargarh Palace, which is just 500 meters from the Ranthambore National Park, is chosen as the festival venue.
To engage maximum participation from the public, the organizers have made the access to the festival free of cost, however certain workshops and performances are ticketed.
The festival will open with the screening of ‘The Unforgotten Music of Rajasthan’, a documentary that chronicles the journey undertaken by the festival to remote corners of Rajasthan over 12 days to discover and showcase a spectrum of folk music styles and honour their performers.
One of the highlights will be ‘Into the Wild’, the wildlife film festival curated by India’s leading environmental and wildlife forum, CMS Vatavaran.
There will also be an opportunity to interact with filmmakers and conservationists like Saravana Kumar, Kartick Satyanarayan, Dharmendra Khandal, Shekar Dattatri, Giuseppe Bucciarelli, Sandesh Kadur, Krupakar and Senani, and more through panel discussions and workshops.
As the sun sets, the mainstage will be lit up by striking folk-fusion musical and dance performances.
Mallika Sarabhai, Ustad Ma Zila Khan will be present a special collaborative performance with Rajeev Raja and Fabrizio Cassol, world music acts Maati Baani, Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe, UK-based piano maestro Karl Lutchmayer among others.
Another special performance will be of Rajasthan Police band in a Sufi avatar.
An open air theatre has been built at the festival that will host discussions on preservation and music appreciation workshops, sound meditation and Mongolian singing workshop with Tritha Sinha and Martin Dubois, and also a theatre voice training workshop with Asif Ali Beg.
The stage will also host the unEarth Summit, where leading conservationists, social influencers and business leaders will come together for a series of interactive panel discussions and talks on topics pertaining to India’s musical and environmental past, present and future.