The third edition of the Dhaka International Folk Festival came to a close with enthralling performances by artistes from Iran, Mali, India, Bangladesh and a surprise performance by the Danish ambassador to Dhaka.
The highlight was Iranian folk band Rastak, whose energetic display of contemporary folk took the audience by a pleasant surprise. Armed with a wide variety of traditional instruments and dressed in bright-colored outfits, the group danced, jumped and sang their hearts out to give the audience a memorable experience.
Seasoned folk artistes Shah Alam Sarkar and Aleya Begum staged a traditional Pala performance. They spoke about the Shariati and Marfati mystic schools of thought in a musical question-and-answer form. Their repertoire included “Akash Ta Kapchilo Ken”, “Manush Roton Koro Bhojon” and “Dubey Dekh Rup Sagorey”.
Shahnaz Beli came to the stage next, and got the crowd on their feet with popular folk songs like “ChatokSwobhab Na Hole”, “AgunLagaiyaDilo Kone”, “KonMistori Nao Banaise” and “Korimona”.
Danish Ambassador Mikael HemnitiWinther along with French pianist Frank Herrgott and Australian Deputy High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincentpaid tribute to Tom Petty with “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, “Learning to Fly” and also performed Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”.The ambassador himself wrote “Seeing Dhaka”,his tribute to the city.
The stadium was not as crowded as previous nights.
Grammy-winning folk band Tinariwen was the closing act of the festival, bringing the moods and melodies from the Sahara desertto a land faraway. Dressed in traditional white garbs complete with headgears, their calm, composed performance was melancholy and soul-searching.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Sun Communications Chairman Anjan Chowdhury and eminent singer Nashid Kamal closed the event.