Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dan Performing Dastangoi




Saw friend Dan Hussein performing Dastangoi, the extinct oral story telling tradition that has been revived after seventy years. He along with friend and fellow performer Mahmood Farooqui have revived this art form from extinction and are performing it around the country where they can get sponsors. Those interested in sponsoring can contact Dan on his blog: http://dastangoi.blogspot.com.

Dan is really a treat to watch. He has an amazing range of histrionics, a powerful voice and can express anything just any emotion with his mobile face and body. See in the picture how he rises from his seat (he was seated on a matress, nawabi style), gestures with his hands, his face in the moment of the story, his eyes fully in the character. Such a powerful performance I have rarely seen. Dan, has power, depth and amazing grace (I am not saying this only because he is a friend). He is also an aspiring film artiste, struggling to get roles. It's a cruel irony of fate that he has remained undiscovered while lesser talents have gone to make hay while the sun shines. Keep at it Dan!

The only parallel Dastangoi has with a Kerala art form is the "Katha Prasangam" where the story is told by two narrators to the accompaniment of music, which I had seen as a child in Kerala.
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