FESTIVITY is in the air in Salalah. Light drizzling, nice combination of light and music and performances by folk bands coming from different countries are making the Municipality Recreation Centre in Itin perfect venue for entertainment these days.
The international music troupes have come from Iran, Ghana, Nigeria and India, while many more country performances are in the pipeline. The programmes have been planned in such a way that troupes from eight to 10 countries perform for 10-15 days. Then other troupes come from other countries, thus making Salalah Tourism Festival a hub of different kinds of performances every week.
The folk performers from Iran have won several hearts through authentic Iranian dance and music from Shiraz. They are giving performances daily. Language does not seem to be any barrier for the audience, as a large number of them gather soon after the troupe starts performance.
“The dance forms are known as Jangnameh, Haley and Hiyna-Halie. Every dance has some story to tell that is why it does not allow you to get bored. They nicely depict the life and time of agrarian Iran, said Zeinab Vesal, Manager of the Iranian handicraft and music team that has come to take part in the STF.
“The performers are from Qashqai tribe of Iran who are conglomeration of the clans of Turkic ethnic. They live in south of Iran and speak southwestern or Oghuz branch of Turkic language. Qashqai is also the biggest nomad society of Iran. Seeking fresh pastures the Qashqai move to summer quarters Yailaq in the high northern mountains; and from the north they move to the south to their winter quarters Qishlaq. The music and dance sometimes revolve around this journey of the tribe,” she said and added “the Qashqais are renowned for their pile carpets and other woolen products.”
The Dance Africa Foundation troupe members entertained the festival audience with mesmerising Ghanaian dance and music performances. “Each ethnic group in Ghana has their own traditional dances and there are different dances for different occasions. There are dances for funerals, celebrations, storytelling, praise and worship,” said the Ghana dance group leader Abraham Paddy Tetteh.
“There are various dances in Ghana performed by the ten regions across the country. These dances are performed mostly during festivals and also during occasions such as funerals, marriage ceremonies, etc. These dances are performed to entertain and educate people. The ‘Gome’ dance, for example, is performed by the Gas of the Greater Accra region of Ghana during their Homowo festival somewhere in August. Other dances in Ghana includes kpalongo performed by the Gas as well, Agbadza by the Ewes, Adowa by the Akans, Bambaya by the Northners, Patsa by the Ga-Adangbes, and many others,” he said.
Dance Africa Foundation performs nationally and internationally and has performed at so many events and venues which include the Bobruisk Festival (wreath of Friendship), Belarus, Ristumeikan University Kyoto-Japan, Drummondville World Festival, Walt Disney, France, as well as the highly acclaimed Folklore Festival in Yalta on the Black Sea in Russia.
Surinder Pal Singh Bakshi of India World Cultural Forum (IWCF) has brought colourful programmes depicting rich heritage and culture of India.
His team from Bhopal attracted a large number of festival visitors, as the troupe presented variety of dance forms of different provinces of India.
Based in New Delhi, the ICWF is aimed at enhancing friendship through world culture. “The idea is to make friends from many countries and discover new cultures, understanding families through culture, strengthening connections, knowing and understanding each other better,” Bakshi said.