Goan dances enthrall Trinidad and Tobago audience

August 13th, 2011 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Port-of-Spain, Aug 13 (IANS) Fast-paced Goan music and dance set the audience’s feet tapping at a performance held in Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city that has a rich Indian diaspora.

A packed audience was enthralled by the event held to mark India’s Independence at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA). India celebrates its Independence Day Aug 15.

The Goenchim Nohetram dancers, a folk dance and music group from India’s Goa state, left the people mesmerised.

Winston Peters, minister of the arts and multiculturalism, said cultural exchanges not only build and reinforce diplomatic relations between Trinidad and Tobago as well as India, but also help to increase awareness of various cultures and provide much-needed exposure to artistes.

The ministry was joined by the Indian High Commission and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to present the traditional dances and songs, he added.

Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra said: “The people of Trinidad and Tobago now have a unique opportunity to see another form of the Indian people with the presentation of the Goenchim Nohetram dancers.”

Mishra said the month of August is important for both countries - Trinidad and Tobago observes Emancipation Day and celebrates its Independence Day and India too celebrates its Independence Day.

Out of this Caribbean island nation’s population of 1.3 million, around 44 percent are of Indian descent. Their forefathers were brought here between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar plantations.

The 14-member Goan troupe was led by Marianella Philgina Masccarenhas Diaz, a Chemistry lecturer.

They performed eight pieces.

The Goan Mando is a graceful dance, expressing the love and yearning of a girl for her lover. The love songs have their origins in Portugal.

The Dekhni dance - “bewitching beauty” - have folk songs blended with Indian melodies and Goan folk rhythms. This was followed by the Fudgi dance, performed wearing colourful sarees while singing different songs.

The group also performed a comedy act followed by Kunbi dance and the Marcha De Fontainhas, which is a Portuguese marching dance.

(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at paras.r@ians.in)

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