The 10th Anniversary celebration of RadhaRaman Festival being held virtually this year…making it possible for audiences from all corners of the globe to take part in this ethereal experience, of three days and night long cultural enchantment. – reports Asian Lite news desk
A 10-year celebration of RadhaRaman Folk Festival based in Leeds is happening virtually this year on 27, 28, and 29 November 2020. The three-day festival, featuring some world-leading performers from all across the world has already created wide followers from the UK and Europe. More than 12 hours of exciting sessions of music, dance, poetry, and talk every day will be streaming live on the RadhaRaman Festival page on Facebook and youtube.
Fabian Hamilton the shadow secretary of peace and disarmament, a veteran member of British parliament said in a congratulation message for the 10-year celebration of the festival – “this is the best treat during Covid for the global audience, such a great line-up of folk music and dance from many cultural traditions, this is something that I am absolutely looking forward to.”
The festival curator , one of the founders of RadhaRaman Society, London, TM Ahmed Kaysher thinks, “The festival traditionally is promoting the joy of life through hosting the session around the lyrical nature of Leeds along with the formal art and community venues. This is one of the rare festivals where people from different cities, different traditions come together and enjoy the beauty of predominantly Bengali folk music and folk dance all day and almost all night. So, during Covid, the festival has a special significance because it is bringing happiness through a three-day long hypnotic presentation of arts and music by few world-leading artists. The festival will open a horizon of joy all three days from the mid-noon to 2am every day.
The inauguration will feature a panel discussion by three Leeds-based MPs Fabian Hamilton, Richard Burgon, and Alex Sobel as well as the former governor of Cayman Island Anwar Chowdhury. The planning minister of Bangladesh M A Mannan, the minister of state for cultural affairs KM Khalid, the member of Bangladesh parliament Muhibur Rahman will join the inauguration from Bangladesh along with other distinguished guests from the UK and abroad.
The festival is bringing some finest performers from different traditions that include the Bhajan king Anup Jalota, the head of Banaras Gharana of Indian classical music Pt Kumar Bose, the finest violin player of this generation Vidushi Kala Ramnath, a leading Tagore singer of this time Jayati Chakraborti, Parvathy Das Baul, Raju Das Baul from India, prominent actor and the former culture minister of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Noor, folk singer Ashik, Bengali experimental music composer Bappa Mazumdar, talented Tagore singer Shreetama Roy, dancer, and actor Aupee Karim, Sadia Islam Mou, Tanna Khan, Farhana Chowdhury and Nilanjana Jui of Nritya Shaily from Bangladesh.
Jayati Chakraborty, a leading Bengali singer from India said, “It’s a special honour to be invited to perform as part of the 10-year celebration of the festival. The idea of the festival is really intriguing, bringing the best of south Asian and global arts at the lap of the beautiful nature. Congratulations to the festival and the team during this 10-year celebration. I heard a lot on the beauty of Yorkshire Dales, and I look forward to joining physically at the festival.
An award-winning Scottish musician Simon Thacker, Lebanese-Canadian-Greek musician Lara Eidi, Moroccan Oud and Nai player Hassan Erraji, Schubert vocalist Eric Schelander, Persian Setar and Tambura player Niknaz Mirghalami, Persian dancer Lily Niloufar will also join different days in different talk and performance sessions.
The leading intellectuals and academicians from Bangladesh and India e.g. the former vice-chancellor of Assam University Prof Tapodhir Bhattacharjee, the former vice-chancellor of Rabindra Bharati university prof Pabitra Sarkar, the former vice-chancellor of Gauro Banga university prof Gopa Datta Bhowmik, the high commissioner of Bangladesh in the UK Saida Muna Tasneem, the former chairman of public service commission of Bangladesh poet Muhammed Sadique, the vice-chancellor of the University of Barishal Sadequl Arefin, the former director-general of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan will participate as the panellists for a discussion on folk music and its relevance with modernity.
The festival will also feature the performances of some finest UK based artists Gouri Chowdhury, Sanjoy Dey, Sumana Basu, Sufi Amir Muhammed, Amith Dey, Sohel Ahmed, Sonia Sultana, Laboni Barua, Indrani Ghosh Sen, Jessy Barua, Poppy Shahnaz, Jahangir Rana, Arundhati Mukherjee as well as some child prodigies Tanisha Chowdhury and Anvita Gupta.
“The festival aims to promote the joy and happiness of life through folk music and dance. This has been promoting the lyrical landscapes of the North by hosting sessions of music, dance and networking in the middle of the forest like Otley Chevin, by the Scammonden Lake etc. along with other formal art and community venues”, said Kaysher.
RadhaRaman society propagates the glory of Bengali secular philosophy and deep humanism through folk music, dance and other collaborative art forms. It engages young people, socially excluded women, too, into the pride-worthy cultural heritage of Bengal through highly connecting art activities and deliberately play a vital role to combat growing religious fanaticism. It’s annual folk festival is already considered now as the biggest Bengali cultural and art festival in the North which connected the audience from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Oldham, Bradford, Rochdale etc. on top of the local audience from mainly the east as well as other areas of Leeds.
An extraordinary poet himself, Kaysher is also well known as one of the founding members of Saudha, society of poetry and Indian music, and the Gronthee, an experimental bilingual poetry magazine. He adds, “RadhaRaman Festival drew the attention of the audiences from different cities of the UK because of its unique nature of hosting sessions all day and all night. The audience ends up with a memorable experience of witnessing music and dance performances happening all day all night, sometimes at the deeper forest while barbecuing, sometimes at the bank of the lake while networking with people from one tradition to another, one corner to another. The audience goes home with tears after three days of human-bonding that arts and music creates in the lap of lyrical nature of the North.”
Supported by one of the leading Indian classical music promoters in the UK Saudha Society of poetry and music, the Gronthee, the Nehru Centre, SAA UK, Sangeet Foundation, and many prestigious organisations from all across the world, the festival will run from 2 pm (UK time) each day.
Radha Raman Folk Festival (UK) starts from 2 pm-2 am daily, Friday, 27th November – Sunday 29th November 2020