Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan setting the Union Terrace on fire Saturday night

Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan at the World Music Festival
Rajasthan, a province in northwest India, is the home of the Dhoad Gypsies, who made themselves at home on the Union Terrace Saturday night. The group, performing at the World music festival, is made up of representatives of several different religious and cultural groups. Their artistic director is 25-year-old Rahis Bharti, second from left.

Emily Mills wrote about the festival in the Isthmus Daily Page and had this to say about the Dhoad Gypsies:
Out on the terrace again, the Dhoad Gypsies exploded onto the scene with an intense tabla (two drums played with fast, staccato notes) solo, followed by a number of traditional Rajasthani gypsy tunes. Most of their work was centered around percussive instruments: the tabla and other hand drums plus castanet like pieces of wood played with a rapid fire cadence. The Gypsies' show included performances by one man who balanced a jar of water on up to four small glasses at a time on top of his head while dancing. He also stood on a bed of nails and three curved swords and breathed fire in time with the music -- extra fun if you happened to be sitting right up against the stage like I was.

This show gathered perhaps the most enthusiastic audience of the night. A contingent of students who spoke the same language and knew some of the songs were all singing and dancing along, encouraging others to get up and do the same. Two encores were demanded and the band was only too happy to oblige.
I had left my temporary perch by the stage by the time the fire eater put on his percussive performance and couldn't get a photo, but it was truly amazing -- quick, repeated billowing bursts of flame in time with the music. Great night on the Terrace. Incredible music, with a flashy finish.

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