How Dancing Peacock is Reimagining Folk Festivals

by Naveen Tripathi
Dancing Peacock brings together senior-most Manganiyar artists

Dancing Peacock designed and organised a unique artist community driven folk music festival, Singing Sands. The first edition of this annual festival was organised on 15-16 April 2022 in Sheo-Barmer jointly with Dharohar Lok Kala & Gramin Vikas Sansthan, Sheo. 

Dancing Peacock creates most authentic folk experiences
Singing Sands 2022 was an assortment of most authentic folk experiences

Sheo in Barmer is a major centre for the indigenous Manganiyar, Langa, Jogi-Kalbeliya, Bheel-Bhopa, Meghwal and other communities living in surrounding villages and hamlets. For decades, artists from these communities have travelled to and performed in various parts of the country and the world.

With Singing Sands, Dancing Peacock attempts to broad-base exposure to the music communities of the region and to give connoisseurs an opportunity to admire a much wider spectrum of pure indigenous music, traditions, art and crafts.

Gazi Khan performs at Singing Sands, Dancing Peacock’s folk music fest
Gazi Khan performs at Singing Sands

Singing Sands – a look at the Festival

The festival kicked off with a morning concert at the 700-year old Baba Garib Nath Math in Sheo and concluded with a grand concert at the outskirts of Gunga village. The 2-day community festival saw over 40 performances at beautiful venues in and around Sheo by 130+ folk artists from across Rajasthan.

What makes Dancing Peacock’s approach Unique

Singing Sands is possibly the first folk festival designed with the artist community as a key stakeholder and not just as performers. The festival also gave artists – young and old – of various professional communities a rare common platform to interact at length on music, sinking traditional learning structures, challenges and opportunities.

Community involvement is at the core of Dancing Peacock’s philosophy
Community involvement is at the core of Dancing Peacock’s philosophy

“We are glad to have started a unique folk music festival that goes beyond just a select few popular renditions, and showcases our rich folk repertoire including rare and slowly fading folk music forms. Such ‘ground-up’ community festivals are critical for organic conservation of our folk traditions and they also prepare a strong ground for sustainable rural tourism.”

~ Vinod Joshi, Co-Founder, Dancing Peacock

Conceived as an annual festival, the forthcoming editions of Singing Sands promise to be extraordinary attractions on the global folk music calendar. 

Vinod Joshi, co-founder of Dancing Peacock and Festival Director of Singing Sands
Vinod Joshi, co-founder of Dancing Peacock and Festival Director of Singing Sands

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