Artistes welcome G20 delegates at airport by putting their best foot forward - Hindustan Times
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Artistes welcome G20 delegates at airport: Step-up to put their best foot forward

ByManvi Singh
Sep 10, 2023 10:53 AM IST

G20 Summit is ongoing in Delhi, and Indian artistes are excitedly performing to welcome the guests at the IGI and Palam airports.

First impressions are forever the lasting ones, and keeping this in mind are the performing artistes who are carrying the responsibility of welcoming G20 guests on their skilled shoulders. Positioned at Palam Air Force Station and Terminal 1 of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, to welcome and see off the G20 delegates from the world over, these artistes are accomplishing no small feat. They are on their toes, quite literally, for September 7 to 11, and aim to give their best shot each time when they take to stage to perform!

Director General of World Trade Organisation Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala applauds as Indian artistes perform Odisha's Sambalpuri dance.(ANI Photo)
Director General of World Trade Organisation Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala applauds as Indian artistes perform Odisha's Sambalpuri dance.(ANI Photo)

“We’ve practised for almost 8,000 hours now,” says Nehal Singh, a Kathak dancer, adding, “Still, many of us are conscious and are trying our best to not to make any mistake because this is a global stage and we wish to make our country proud. We’ve been assigned the responsibility to represent the various cultural dances of our country, and in the process we’ve learned 17 different types of dances, which are all diverse in styles. These include Odisha’s Sambhalpuri, Maharashtra’s Lavani and Rajasthan’s Ghoomar.”

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A fusion of Kathak and contemporary dance has been choreographed on the song, Lean On.(Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
A fusion of Kathak and contemporary dance has been choreographed on the song, Lean On.(Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

A squad of artistes stepped up to a mix of Major Lazer’s Lean On and a fusion of Indian Classical music, to honour the arrival of guests on September 7 and 8. The same troupe will now be performing to see off the delegates on September 10 and 11. “Every delegate has an eye on us, isliye galti ka koi chance nahi hai,” adds Srishti Prabhu, a Chhau artiste.

The delegates, on the other hand, have been spotted enjoying the performances staged by these artistes, and some such as Kristalina Georgieva, who is the managing director and chairman of International Monetary Fund (IMF), joined in to match a step or two. "It was phenomenal,” shares Vijay Raj, manager of Taal Milan Dance group, which has 450 artistes performing in small batches at both the airports.

Chiming in, Sagarika Sen, a Lavani dancer, adds, “We wish to make our country proud by representing the various cultural dances. Hence, our group has learned 17 types of dances... I’ve been part of the group that has performed Sambalpuri choreography for about 12 times since the evening of September 7. We feel a bit tiring sometimes, but the excitement level is so high among us since India is witnessing such a large-scale global event for the first time, that we get filled with patriotism each time some dignitary arrives.”

Another artist, Shreya Panjrath, who has been performing a fusion of Kathak and contemporary dance, shares, “Our performances are making the delegates aware of the rich heritage of India, and in the process also offering us a golden chance to hold these moments as memories for a lifetime. I’m sure to proudly share these with the generations to come... Just telling someone that I performed at this grand occasion fills me with pride for India.”

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