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Thursday, August 03, 2004

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Save the Children sponsors Rock concert
Band Dethrow makes an amazing comeback

July 30:Another flood filled day for the city locals. Yet there was consolation for some music enthusiasts who braved the bad weather. Their common destination was the Fu-Wang concert hall where a lineup of well-known bands was to play. In the process, the concert was expected to generate funds for Save the Children USA.

Among the new faces were Defend, Baasz'nought and Soothsayer, along with Unscarred, Untitled Band and Shunt. The flares for the evening were the usual Dethrow vs Druids combo, Stentorian, dNA, Void and big names Artcell and Black.

The new comers' performance won popular appreciation. Unscarred, the band, blew up the house with their only track, Master of Puppets, by Metallica. The vocal was amazing. and appreciated. The Untitled Band was moderately okay for the day and got a good crowd response. Sunday morning by No Doubt and American Pie soundtrack Sway by Bic Runga were delightful.

Next was Shunt. The band performed in their great last show, since the vocalist leaves for higher education abroad.It was truly an electrifying performance. Songs Davidian by Machinehead, Want and Stupify in their improvised tone by Disturbed was amazing. Their own nu-metal-ish composition Chayapoth looked promising.

It was then time for the magic of the combo sensations Dethrow vs Druids. The combined group rocked the concert venue, while the Druids shook the stage with their awe-inspiring song list. Their female vocalist's shrill voice was magnetic enough to evoke an enthusiastic response from the crowd.

The vocalist combined modern and opera style melody. Bless the child and Over the hills & far away by Nightwish were hugely applauded. Every time I die, by Children of Bodom, was a mind blowing performance. Next followed a performance by the amazing Dethrow.

The hype…the energy literally blew the audiences into pieces in the face of the flow of raw energy. The once faded metal monsters made the most enthralling comeback. Harvester of Sorrow and Master of Puppets by Metallica poured down metal madness, kicking in authentic old-skool metal style and kept the audiences on their toes. In the end, the performances of Dethrow and Druids won acclaim. They were definitely one of the best of that evening.

Stentorian was next with their usual blast of powerhouse rock. Adrishho Judhho-2 was an incredible start, followed by Be quiet or be dead by Iron Maiden, Mudwayne's Not falling, Breaking the law by Judas Priest and many more. Their own numbers, Bhoy and Adrishho Judhho-1, expressed the compositional maturity of these uprising superstars.

Another marvel of a performance was by the mainstreamer Black. Porahoto, Obhiman, Apolap, Abinoshhor were some magnificent tracks performed from their two better known albums.

Void was up next, performing For whom the bell tolls and Sad but true by Metallica along with their own numbers Shesh raat and Srishti. The crowd was enthralled by the straight-down-the-line songs.

dNA followed up and set the whole crowd ablaze with its repertoire. The hip-core start of In the end by Linkin Park was a marvel. Followed by Fear of the dark by Iron Maiden, System of a Down's Toxicity and its own number, Shopno, dNA's performance was like an adrenaline rush.

Artcell on its voyage performed Opshori, Chile kothar shepai, Bhul jonmo, new track Bhorer akash and the soothing Pothchola to wrap up the event --rocking every bit of the last soul present in the arena. However, one major flaw in an otherwise exciting concert was the faulty acoustics of the hall room.

The organisers say that the money is yet to be handed over to Save the Children. They are waiting for the higher-ups to arrive and hand over the cheque.

In a scenario where the country faces one of its worst disasters, one can only hope that the flood affected families will soon rehabilitate themselves. Concerts, such as the one held recently, can go a long way in rebuilding a shattered social and economic fabric.

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Where roots create proximity
Display of traditional folk-arts from Switzerland and Bangladesh

As one roams around the auditorium gallery of the National Museum, one comes across a veritable cultural feast-- an ongoing exhibition of arts and crafts from the tiny mountainous country of Switzerland. The exhibition, the first of its kind in Dhaka, was organised by the Embassy of Switzerland and Bangladesh National Museum. On display also was a wide range of traditional Bangladeshi items.

In his welcome speech, the Charge d'Affaires of Switzerland in Bangladesh, Juerg Casserini said, 'The exhibition reveals a strong cultural affinity between the two countries.'

Visitors at the exhibition focussed their attention on the widely diverse Alpine heritage, mainly of rural origin, with a subtle touch of Latin influence and European style. A rare treat for the locals was the display of intricate hand-made arty objects and masterpieces brought in from Swiss Cantons including Appenzell, Grisons, the Tessin, Berne, Fribourg, Valais, Zurich and Schaffhausen.

A prime emblematic motif of Swiss heritage no doubt, finds itself in the figurative element of the burly cattle herd, a key symbol of wealth and prosperity. Gigantic models of lightly gilded brass cow-bells with embroidered leather collars is a key attraction. These objets d'art stand boldly beside a wood encased Dulcimer, a popular rural musical instrument of medieval Arab origin. The metallic cow bells of Bangladeshi tribes come as a pleasant surprise in the exhibition and augment the bells of the Alps.

Dolls, adorned in splendidly woven vibrant costumes, maintain a discrete appearance and represent the customs of different Cantons. The display of Bangladeshi dolls in bridal costumes and rural outfits complement those of their Swiss counterparts. Likewise, the embroidered apparel is testimony to the superb craftsmanship of rural women of both the countries.

Carved wooden spoons, gracefully designed jewellery boxes, cheese moulds, cigarette boxes, miniature hay-wagons, cows and sledges serve to draw attention to the delicate artistic traits of rural sculptors of Switzerland. Needless to say, the wooden dolls and cake moulds by Bangladeshi carvers enrich the exhibition.

Certain antique items including the ornamental hookah (a rural smoking device), produced from silver, illustrates our rich cultural heritage. The products seem to be equivalent to the customary brass and copper works of the Alpine craftsmen.

Hand-painted ceramic pieces and porcelain-ware with gold and silver brooches, chrome-plated steel and fire-kilned copper from various Swiss Cantons seem remarkably parallel in nature with our Pathor Hari, the Bangladeshi stone utensil.

The role of the mask in Swiss culture is important, especially during seasonal festivities and carnivals. Wooden masks, with motifs of wild man and woman on the far corner of the gallery, are surely crowd-pullers. In comparison, displays of flamboyant masks created by Bangladeshi artistes are equally appealing.

The exhibition is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily till August 10.

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