In recent years, India has risen to become what is almost certainly one of the top business hubs of the world. Economywatch has declared that “India’s economy has been one of the stars of global economies in recent years”. But a purely commercial focus risks losing sight of what has made India successful.
India’s dramatic growth as a world economic power draws no wider resources and older identities. India has enjoyed immense respect among the community of nations for its abundant cultural wealth, with a spiritual epicentre that is unparalleled in the world. The world’s widest variety of traditional arts and 4000 years of built heritage move step in step with the energy, dynamism and creative restlessness of India’s youth that comprises more than 60% of India population. A young nation with one of the oldest tangible and intangible histories of the world is a natural destination for the consumers of cultural and spiritual tourism. This Festival is a projection of brand India. As India rises to be a global economic entity, DIAF attempts to draw the attention of the world to India’s soft power expressed though the arts says Prathibha Prahlad, the Festival Director and Principal Promoter of DIAF. Apart from being a renowned dancer, Prathibha Prahlad is also the Managing Trustee of Prasiddha Foundation, which has a track record of having created cultural and tourism equities like the Hampi National tourism Festival, hailed as the Avignon of India, the Sharad Vaibhav and Eka Aneka Festival.
Delhi International Arts Festival India’s ‘Signature Festival’ is the longest multi arts, multi venue cultural festival. DIAF is the only Cultural Festival that is based on public-private-partnership with Union Government and State Government agencies involved with NGO’s, Corporate’s and the civil society, to create the lasting cultural equity for the nation.
Nearly a million people were touched by the Delhi International Arts Festival in it’s very first year, not accounting for the television viewership and the online consumers. DIAF in 2007 was a 17 day event with 40 venues spread over the National Capital Region of Delhi, 900 artistes, both national and international performed under its banner and 3 premium exhibitions embellished it. For more details, please visit www.iboblr.in/~diaf.
The dates of Delhi International Arts Festival 2008 are 2nd December through 24th December. The format is multi-arts, multi-venue with the participation from about 15 Countries in various segments and a 2500 strong indigenous artistic component. Over 50 venues will come alive during the 23 day period with world class professionals performing alongside special segments created for the youth and children.
This year DIAF will reach more than five million cultural consumers.
Festival Director and Principal Promoter:
Ms Prathibha Prahlad, who envisioned and promoted this Festival, is an internationally renowned and awarded Indian Classical dancer and a rare combination of performer, teacher, choreographer, media person and cultural activist. Through the Prasiddha Foundation she has created memorable and significant cultural tourism equities and has always championed the cause of the arts. She has been a member of several National level Committees that have determined policies and positioning for the arts
Unique features of the Delhi International Arts Festival
The Prasiddha Foundation was established in 1991 with the purpose of fostering love and appreciation for all forms of art and to work through the medium of arts for the promotion of national and international cultural contact. Many high profile festivals that have been organised by Prasiddha Foundation are today considered among the best administered platforms of art in the country. Promotion, Propagation and Preservation in the field of Arts has motivated Prasiddha Foundation to constantly readdress the Arts and redesign Festivals towards sensitizing and enlarging the mass base of cultural consumers.
The Prasiddha Foundation’s two flagship Festivals that featured almost all the top-notch performers of the Country were Sharad Vaibhava and Eka Aneka. Sharad Vaibhava pioneered a colloquium built around a theme and introduced interfacing and dialoguing between artists of different genres and conducted annually from 1991-2003. Eka Aneka was an all night music /dance Festival that re-introduced to Bangalore the viewing of dance and music recitals all night long to re-inforce that Art promoted peace and harmony and was available for all to savour. This event also took place annually from 1993-2004. Almost 10,000 artistes have performed for Prasiddha Foundation in these Festivals.
The most significant tourism directed cultural initiative of the Prasiddha Foundation, started in 1995, was the impressive Hampi Vijayotsav, set amidst the awesome landscape of Hampi. It was hailed as the Indian Avignon. Vijayotsav brought to life the famous rocks of Hampi and reiterated the greatness and grandeur of the famous archeological site. This initiative of Prasiddha Foundation was one of the instruments in securing for Hampi the UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site. Vijayotsav, the Hampi Festival was handed over to the Karnataka Government to organise from 1998 and is ongoing.
The Prasiddha Foundation has organised several dance and music workshops over the years that has benefited hundreds of upcoming artistes in Bangalore and in Karnataka at large. Dance classes and dance choreographies are part of the ongoing activities of the Trust. Sringara,Shuchi,Ujjwala, Rhythm & Harmony, Call of the Flute, Krishna’s Widows, Panchajanya-the sights & sounds of India, Sita- Parallel Realities and Vande Mataram are some of the landmark choreographies of Prasiddha Foundation. Infact, Panchajanya-sights & sounds of India was the first attempt to capture the major dance forms and musical styles of the Country in one production which has been emulated and re-done by many well-known dancers of today.
The Prasiddha Foundation lobbied with the Union Ministry of Railways in 1995 to procure for all artistes travelling for performances by train a 50% concession in 1st Class and 75 % concession in 2nd Class fares. This benefited hundreds of thousands of artistes all over the Country who enjoy this concession to date.
Prasiddha Foundation produced a 13- episode Television Serial- SHRUTI- based on the life of a dancer-heroine which was top of charts for the entire duration of the telecast. This was directed by renowned film –maker- Sri. M.S. Satyu.
Prasiddha Foundation was commissioned by Bangalore Doordarshan to produce and direct a documentary on 50 years of dance in Karnataka ‘Natyakriti’- which was nationally awarded.
In 1999, Prasiddha Foundation organised a Fund Raiser for the Kargil War Widows- ‘Karnataka for Kargil’ – and donated Rs. 7 lacs to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
In 2007, Prasiddha Foundation conceived and organised India’s Signature International Festival, the Delhi International Arts Festival. DIAF, built on Public- Private Partnership, was a three week long intensive, multi arts, multi venue festival, which projects India as a Global Soft Power and a world class destination for the Arts – a repository of the best of India and a crucible for the best from around the world. The Delhi International Arts Festival 2008 was followed by DIAF 2009 which celebrated ‘One year to the CWG’. This has now become an annual event, and a model that is quoted by the Government as imminently workable in the context of grand international events. More details on the Delhi International Arts Festival can be got from www.iboblr.in/~diaf.
Dance training, choreographies, workshops, colloquiums apart, Prasiddha Foundation believes in enriching landscapes and mindscapes through the medium of the arts. The Foundation has been leased land by the Government of Karnataka and is in the process of constructing the PRASIDDHA CENTRE, a state-of-art performance and multiple practice/conference spaces in Bangalore.
Donations to Prasiddha Foundation can avail of US 80 G under the Income Tax Act. The Managing Trustee of Prasiddha Foundation is the nationally awarded and internationally recognised classical dancer, Smt. Prathibha Prahlad. Late Sri. Ramakrishna Hegde, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Union Commerce Minister was a Founding Trustee along with late Prof. B.S Prema, late Sri. Kadri Shamanna, eminent journalist. Eminent artiste Dr. Rajeev Taranath, Smt. Radha Ganjam, Smt.Sandhya K, Sri. N.K Mohan Ram and Smt. Shubha Patwardhan are on the Board of Trustees of Prasiddha Foundation. More details on Ms. Prathibha Prahlad can be got from her website www.prathibhaprahlad.net