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Chandigarh National Crafts Fair goes to a magnificent start at Kalagram from Friday

CHANDIGARH: The 13th edition of the annual National Chandigarh Crafts Fair is set to go for a magnificent start at Kalagram Manimajra, from Friday.

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit will inaugurate the Fair at 6 pm with Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher in presence as a special guest of honour, among other who's who of the City.

On the occasion, the book" Jaipur Ka Lok Natya Tamasha" authored by Saurabh Bhatt will be released and four folk artistes to be honored with the newly instituted 'Lifetime Achievement Awards' by the Governor, for their unparalleled contribution to the field of performing art.

After the gala inauguration, a flurry of cultural activity will begin, offering an ambient backdrop to the much-awaited theme festivity.

The visiting Mela buffs have in store for them a string of surprises this season in terms of entertainment, like never before. December 1 being the Nagaland Foundation Day, invitee singer Phesao and his troupe from Nagaland will dole out two songs, one each in Naga dialect and Hindi language, conjuring up candid images from the land of wonders. The tastefully designed entrance to the Fair is also inspired by the Nagaland theme. The main stage has also been given an ethnic touch of craftsmanship this time around.

What is going to be the show-stopping moment is the pulsating dance performances by as many as 200 artistes drawn from as many 22 states, which are set to keep the audience delighted with their stellar performances from the very first day.

The theme of the Fair this year being 'Meri Maati Mera Desh', a mesmerizing presentation based on folk and classical dance forms will be presented by artistes under the direction of an acclaimed choreographer Santosh Nair.

Keeping in view the mood and 'mizaz' of the Tricity audience, the organisers have invited artistes, many of them national awardees, from diverse fields to be a part of the mega show. Broadly, as many as1000 folk artistes from various parts of the country will perform live during the 10-day event and regale the audience.

Famed singer Sultana Nooran of the Nooran Sisters duo will take the centre stage on the inaugural day, while on Day Two (Dec 2), ace Punjabi singer Preet Harpal will perform, to be followed by a foot-tapping rendition by Lakhwinder Wadali on December 3.

Giving sidelights of the programme, host NZCC said that stage and ground artistes will give their performances daily from December 2, adding that entry to the Fair would be free for school students from 11 to 12 in the morning, if accompanied by school teacher. Folk artistes will continue to showcase their art throughout the day. Evenings will turn out to be musical with the celeb singers performing live daily from 5 pm onwards. Local artistes will have an opportunity to showcase their innate talent on December 4 5, 7 and 9 from 5 to 6 pm, under the patronage of Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy.

It has curated an exhibition on the theme 'Meri Maati Mera Desh', besides a photo competition throwing up an opportunity to the visiting guests to randomly click a picture and bag honour. The winners of the competition will be given mementoes.

The annual Fair which brings artists and artisans together under one roof is organized every year by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, in association with Chandigarh Administration, bringing opportunities of sorts, including soulful music for the avid music freaks, lip-smacking culinary wonders for the foodies, a fiesta of fun-n-frolic for all, besides offering a window for shoppers to refurbish their wardrobes with a range of ethnic, handknit designers wears and other handmade woollens to choose from.

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