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Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan- Indians under spotlight

Thinking of Rajasthan, the mind immediately conjures up a colourful land with Indian royalty, endless sand dunes, camp fires in a desert night, gypsies singing and dancing to the traditional tunes, turbaned attires, daal-baati-churma served in a thali and of course, the ubiquitous Bollywood style imagery ! Rajasthan is the original land of the gypsies from where these people travelled one place to another entertaining the royal courts and the masses for living.

 

Dhoad Gypsy Group of Rajasthan

 

Dhoad gypsies from Rajasthan, a troupe of eight musicians-performers, have taken upon themselves to be the cultural brand ambassadors of the land of the maharajahs and of Rajasthan.

 

Music in India is an age old tradition. It is not possible to separate music from the religion as it is believed that the purest expression of music will lead one to the divine- whether it be the Sufi tradition or Hinduism with its sacred chants. These beliefs, in turn, are deeply engrained in traditional Indian music of different streams. Thus, for an artistic self-expression in music, be it in classical or folkloric streams, the spiritual goal remains the same- the realisation of the divine through music. These different influences combined with a nomadic lifestyle where the boundaries of religion, caste and communities blur, have given the gypsy music a genre of its own.

 

Rajasthani music is respected by virtuoso the world over for its emotion and unparalleled rhythmic speed and complexity. The gypsy music of Rajasthan combines folk songs to the tune of traditional musical instruments with the rhythms of the dance set against a backdrop of the vast expanse of the Thar desert in the colourful land of Rajasthan. The gypsy tribes of Rajasthan- the Bopa, the Kuna, the Bhils and the Kalbeliyas- have all been nomadic people wandering freely in the desert. Using their artistic-expression in folkloric songs and dances, they used to perform in the royal courts of the maharajahs and the princes or the fairs and markets of local villages. Today, with the royalty gone, their art is limited to performing at various festivals, for foreigner tourists and for private ceremonies.

 

In Dhoad Gypsies you’ll re-discover Rajasthani music in the characteristic and unique style that is Dhoad. Dhoad Gypsies is a collective of consummate, wise and spirited musicians, vocalists and dancers of all generations.

 

Rahis Bharti- Dhoad Gypsy of Rajasthan

At the heart of Dhoad Gypsies are four brothers from a rich and celebrated musical legacy reaching back through seven generations from the esteemed musical tribal caste of Rajasthan. The troupe is led by the charismatic Rahis Bharti whose stunning tabla playing and creative stage direction are the driving force behind his groups- The Dhoad Gypsies and the Jaipur Maharaj Brass Band. Other than Rahis Bharti, the Dhoad troupe has Mohammed Bundu and Ghulam Ali as singers while the latter also plays harmonium along with Sanjay Khan, Arif Khan plays the Khartals, Amir Khan on Dholak, Munshi is the Fakir and Laxmi the Kalbelia sapera dancer. These Dhoad musicians belong to different communities and religion. They have come together in a common pursuit of putting all that they have as artistic, folkloric and spiritual manifestation to making the group a show window of the age-old gypsy tradition of Rajasthan.

 

Devoid of any high-tech wizardry, the Dhoad share an authentic and mesmerizing vision of Rajathan with the public during their concerts in a veritable explosion of colours and vibrant sounds straight from the land of the maharajahs with the subtle and velvety rhythms of the Sufi singing combined with the passionate and energetic kalbelia sapera dance.

 

Evoking a trance like state for audience and performer alike, the Dhoad Gypsies embark on a rapturous journey with love, peace and honour at the centre of their lyrical message. Passionate and haunting, their legendary stamina on-stage combines sweeping scales and vocals, a traditional Gypsy Rajasthani dancer and stunts by the group’s resident fakir for a truly unforgettable experience. The troupe performs a diverse repertoire of traditional, spiritual and life-affirming Rajasthani folk music and semi-classical North Indian compositions enriched by world folklore.

 

Fire-spitting fakir or troubadours, dancers or musicians, singers or performers, the Dhoad gypsies of Rajasthan have all the ingredients for giving stupendous performances to enchanted crowds all over the world. Dhoad Gypsies have performed in over 600 concerts in 40 countries throughout the world within the last six years. some of which have been at the prestigious places such as World Music Festival Chicago, World Music Festival New York, Cabaret Sauvage Paris La Villette, Festival d'Ile de France, Sunfest Festival Ontario, Small World Music Festival Toronto, Olympic Games at Athens, Ziget Festival Budapest, Scène National de Meylan, Scène Nationale d'Annecy, Exposition Internationale Zaragoza 2008, Paleo Festival, etc.

 

The Dhoad Gypsies has performed with international artists such as Jovanotti, International Orchestra Di Piazza Vittorio, Esma Redzepova Queen of Macedonia, Flamenco en Route from Spain, Sassa from Swiss, Carmin Belgodere(groupe Cinqui So Corse), Canta u Populu Corsu, etc. Dhoad was chosen to perform in a private concert for Mick Jagger. In October 2010, Dhoad Gypsies have released their new album 'Root Travellers' CD and Live DVD which is the fruit and inspiration of many years of the Dhoad Gypsies' travel and collaboration with musicians (African, Reggae, Flamenco, Macedonian, Sufi, Gypsy, Gnawa…) around the globe in the world music sphere.


Dhoad Gypsies Rajasthan

 

 

 

Official website of the Dhoad Troupe

 

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