Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Delhi International Art Festival 2011

Posted by Mrityunjay on November 3, 2011

Dilliwallahs are in for an extended treat despite the culmination of the festive season. A fortnight long Fifth edition of Delhi International Art Festival (2011) commenced on 31st October wherein more than 2000 performers from 28 countries are going to exhilarate the mood of art lovers. I did not get a chance to attend earlier editions but after witnessing 3 days of consecutive performances, I can safely pronounce myself as a fool to have missed previous festivals. All forms of art including international bands, visual arts, plays, film screenings, dance and music programmes are on offer from countries as diverse as Egypt, Hungary, Spain, Colombia, France, Mexico etc apart from our very own India. Hard to visualize any art lover resisting this temptation.

More than 25 venues are scheduled for diverse performances. I was instantly hooked on when, Mawlawyiah Dervish – a dance troupe from Egypt gave us Whirling Dervish. Honestly, I did not understand a single word of what singer Amer El Tony sang but then, whoever said -music knows no barriers, stands corrected. One did not actually require understanding the Egyptian language. Audiences were enthralled with the circular dervish dance, whirling around singers. It was amazingly soothing. I managed to record to a small video though the quality the not very good.

Warsi brothers from Hyderabad had us rooted to our seats with their soulful Sufi renditions. It was for the first time, I was watching a live Qawwali show and I must say, I had a gala time.

For those curious about Warsi Brothers- “Warsi brothers is an Indian Qawwali musical group (traditionally known as qawwali party) comprising of brothers Aziz Ahmed Khan Warsi and Zaheer Ahmed Khan Warsi and eight accompanying artists. Based in Hyderabad, the group kept the qawwali tradition alive by accommodating multiple genres, especially those composed by Hyderabadi poets. They represent authentic form of qawwali”. –

Apart from that, there was “Ocean of Love” by South African group led by Veruskha Pather. Show was based on ragas and contemporary music along with African drums and other folk instruments. A beautiful blend of Russian ballet, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and African folk dance.

To finish with, I must mention performance by Paté de Fuá, a Mexican band at Kamani Auditorium. The strength of the band is combination of different musical influences, which gives it a rather unique touch. The instrumental variety includes accordion, bandoneon, cavaquinho, banjo, cornet, alto horn, guitar, vibraphone, marimba, contrabass, drums and voice (I was not really familiar with some of these names). According to DIAF booklet, the band dabbles in genres, such as, Dixieland, traditional jazz, tango,pasodoble, bal-musette, etc.

DIAF does a wonderful balancing act of showcasing us established artists and simultaneously introducing us to young, unknown talents. Life doesn’t come easy for any of us but these cultural galas can satiate our search for faith, catharsis and some of the answers.

P.S- One can find detailed schedule of coming performances on

Apologies for the video quality but that’s as good as I could manage from my sitting position.


4 Responses to “Delhi International Art Festival 2011”

  1. So who is never going to miss my calls anymore 😛

  2. ? ? ? 😀 😀 😀

  3. Bhawna said

    Archie, will I be also called in ? 😀

    say …… “YESSSSSSS” 🙂

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