Vibrant colours, rhythmic music, village aerobics, legendary theatrical shows.... The people of Rajasthan have mastered the art of celebrating any occasion with exuberant ecstasy.
Every four years artists from western Rajasthan come all the way to Tilonia, a village near Ajmer, to participate in the Lok Utsav.
The Utsav pays tribute to the local art and artists share the forum to learn the nuances of the vibrant link between art, artists and society.
The utsav brings together traditional groups like the Tera Talis, Bhopas, Bhawais and many more. In Tera Talis women dancers perform in very fast rhythmic movements with thirteen (tera) different types of plates, vessels and armour while the men folk play musical instruments.
The Lok Utsav also brings together singers who sing for alms. The Kalbelias are snake catchers and poison extractor nomadic Gypsies. They sing in high pitched voices. Clad in black costumes they dance in distinctly snake movements.
Behrupia (impersonation) is yet another popular folk art form. The Behrupia appears all of a sudden from the crowd and starts delivering an address impersonating someone. They are very popular at village fairs and provide amazing joy to the children who swarm around them.
Hela Khayal is another powerful presentation. A group of 35 to 40 people from different walks of life join together to sing. The kavi or poet writes songs of a topical nature -- basically a satire on politics or the social scene.
Thus, through the Lok Utsav, pluralism and tradition is kept alive. Artists share their compositions and accomplishments with their fraternity. They keep their traditions alive and enthuse their youngsters to fall in line with the rhythm of their dancing feet and harmony of lyrical music.