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Rashtrapati Bhavan comes alive with folk, fusion dances

New Delhi: Artists from the Republic Day Parade tableaux performed again before President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday, this time at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The president played host to artists, officials and tribal leaders involved with the various tableaux at the Republic Day Parade and cadets from the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS).

Artists from across India performed dances such as the `Mayur Nritya` from Mathura, `Rouf` from Kashmir, `fusion Bharatanatyam` on wheelchairs, the Odissi from Odisha, and a combination of all Indian classical dance forms by NCC cadets.

The performances took place at the sprawling central lawns, part of the Mughal Garden, at the president`s estate a day after the country celebrated its 64th Republic Day Jan 26.

Artists from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, dressed as Lord Krishna and his consort Radha, danced to the folk song `mor ban aayo rasiya` (He came dressed as a peacock), based on a folklore that Lord Krishna once transformed into a peacock to appease Radha.

A group of men paralysed from the waist down performed a `fusion Bharatanatyam` on wheelchairs.

"It was very heartening that Mrs. Mukherjee was encouraging us. It boosted our confidence and made us want to do much more," 24-year-old Ajay Kumar Tanwar from Delhi said.

"I wanted to shake the president`s hand but I was very nervous," said 14-year-old Himanshi Dahiya, an NCC cadet.

Mementos were presented to the president by the visiting dignitaries from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the NCC and the sports and youth affairs ministry.

"Our cadets learn the diverse and rich culture of India through such events," NCC`s director-general Lt.Gen. P.S. Bhalla said.