Tuesday July 16, 2019

Bollywood appreciates folk artists: All girl band from Nagaland

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By Debaprio D. Choudhury 

New Delhi: Bollywood may be stereotypical and commercialized with its formula content but offers a “great platform” for folk artistes to display creativity on a large scale and gain popularity, feels an all-girl band from Nagaland – the Tetseo Sisters.

The band, which performs traditional folk music of Nagaland’s Chakhesang tribe and along with  folk fusion, consists of four Tetseo siblings – Azi, Mercy, Kuvelu and Alune – as its members.

Founded in 1994, the band is credited with being able to bring Naga folk music to a larger audience.

“We love a lot of things about Bollywood, while certain things make us cringe too. Indie music and folk have more recently found a place in Bollywood and that is good news,” Mercy of the Delhi-based band was quoted by a media outlet.

“For all its commercialism and stereotypical formula treatment, Bollywood is a great platform for artistes to gain popularity and make it good financially. It also gives great opportunity for creativity on a large scale,” she said and added that they get inspired by life.

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The folk quartet said their songs were about daily life existence, beauty, nature, family, love, friendship, death, pain and happiness. They sing “Li” (folk songs) in Nagaland’s Chokri dialect.

The band members, dressed up in their miniature versions of the traditional Chakhesang costumes, play instruments like Tati (one stringed instrument), Khro-khro (shakers), drums and Bamhum.

On their songs and music, Kuvelu said: “We sing some traditional (Naga) lyrics as well as some that we have written. ‘O Rhosi’, ‘Apulio Lizo’ (prayer song), ‘Ohe!’ and ‘Hiyo! Hiyo!’ are some of our well-appreciated songs. We also perform western contemporary music.”

“Our songs celebrate life and certain virtues and values. They talk about identity and describe a beautiful way of life close to nature,” added Kuvelu who is part of the quartet that has featured in many cultural events across India and abroad.

The band members said they were always open to varied experiences and opportunities to make new and different kinds of music.

Photo 2_1438430168 (1)The Tetseo Sisters said they were now on a mission to create awareness about the need for environment protection, gender equality and racial discrimination.

“We are not activists of any kind. But we want to highlight the need for environment protection, recycling, gender equality, racial discrimination and safety for women across the country,” said Alune, a key member of the band that has jammed with folk musicians from India and abroad.

Asked about their future plan, Azi told a media outlet: “Our dream is to go on a worldwide tour. Slowly but surely, we are pretty close to getting there.”

On the growing trend of all-girl bands in the northeast region, she said: “…it is probably because of the love of music inherent in people of the hills and the more socially egalitarian tribal culture that lets girls be more individualistic and free to pursue their interests.”

“However, there are many famous female vocals fronting many top bands from the rest of the country; so it’s not like there is a dearth of female musical talent around the country barring the northeast states. To us, it doesn’t really matter if a group is all male or female so long as they make great music,” she said.

Asked whether the band faced any problem in connecting with audiences in other parts of India, Mercy said good music does not need a language.

“We have been playing in Delhi for a while. Yes, we sing in a dialect spoken by very few people and that’s the beauty of it. Some things can’t be translated but thankfully with music, you just need to hit the right notes for the melody to capture your listener’s soul and do its job.

“We have had a variety of audiences and they have never faced any problems getting the intent of the songs, and we also try to share a gist of each song that we sing. Good music does not need a language. It speaks to the soul,” said Alune as the band’s popularity continues to grow in other parts of India.

(IANS)

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Whole Atmosphere of Mandi House Culturally Rich with Music, Literature, Art and Theatre

Now, in professional theatre, people are buying tickets for you and that's really exciting for an actor

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The whole atmosphere of Mandi House is very culturally rich with music, literature, art and theatre. Pixabay

‘Crime Patrol’ anchor Annup Sonii, who once basked in the cultural glory of Delhi’s Mandi House and performed in its popular auditoriums as a drama student, finds it thrilling to act in the area as a professional actor now.

Annup, 44, will be seen in the national capital for a theatre production ‘Ballygunge 1990’, directed by Atul Satya Koushik and presented by the Film and Theatre Society.

It will be staged at Mandi House’s Kamani Auditorium on July 21 — one of the places where the actor performed as a student.

“In my family, there’s no one related to this industry or films or theatre. For me, everything was new and exciting. The whole atmosphere of Mandi House is very culturally rich with music, literature, art and theatre.

Mandi House, Rich, Music
Annup, 44, will be seen in the national capital for a theatre production ‘Ballygunge 1990’, directed by Atul Satya Koushik. Pixabay

“In my student days, we performed at National School of Drama (NSD) auditorium in first and second year, then Shri Ram Centre or Kamani Auditorium in third year. Now, in professional theatre, people are buying tickets for you and that’s really exciting for an actor,” Annup told IANS over telephone.

He also credited NSD, which he joined 25-odd years back, as having taught him discipline and basics of acting.

“I personally feel theatre is a good foundation to start with; it prepares you so extensively to handle any character. Having said that, it’s not that if you’re not grounded in theatre, you cannot be a good actor.”

Annup describes ‘Ballygunge 1990’ as the “revenge story” of a relationship, where his character abandons a lover for ambition and returns years later after failing. The suspense-genre play is in Hindi.

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The Mumbai-based artiste has dabbled into multiple mediums, and feels passionately about the “craft of acting”.

He is returning to ‘Crime Patrol’ after a break of 15 months — in a new bearded avatar that is garnering much appreciation.

On why he took a sabbatical from the show, Annup said: “The structure of our shooting was such that I was not getting time to commit to acting assignments properly. I feel I’m an actor first, then an anchor. Now, we’ve restructured and allotted limited days to ‘Crime Patrol’. This arrangement suits both the makers and me.

Mandi House, Rich, Music
Annup Sonii, who once basked in the cultural glory of Delhi’s Mandi House and performed in its popular auditoriums as a drama student, finds it thrilling to act in the area as a professional actor now. Pixabay

“In these 15 months, I did three films and three web-series in never-seen-before roles,” he explained, adding these projects will release in this year’s last quarter.

Also Read- Here’s a List of America’s Top 10 Richest Presidents of All Time

He will also be seen acting alongside Sanjay Dutt in the Hindi remake of Telugu film ‘Prasthanam’. (IANS)