Swaying to the sounds of Colombia – in Delhi

New Delhi, Aug 5:

Music aficionados in the national capital swayed and danced to the tunes played by a fusion artist and multi-instrumentalist at an event to commemorate the Colombian National Day.

Picture Courtesy: colombia.travel
Picture Courtesy: colombia.travel

Carlos Balanta, famously known as ‘Baterimba’, is on a journey to promote the folk music of Colombia’s Pacific Coast to the world.

In the event at the India International Centre here Monday night, organised by the Colombian embassy, Balanta’s set comprised the marimba (a set of wooden bars struck with mallets), drums, bongos, flute and bells. It was a jam-packed show, with latecomers having to stand because there was no place left to sit.

Balanta sang in Spanish and simultaneously played the multiple instruments, a true one-man orchestra. He performed nine songs in total.

The performance was heightened by two traditional folk dancers wearing colorful heavy skirts joining him on stage. As Balanta tapped out a few Indian beats, the dancers incorporated Bharatnatyam into their performance.

The highlight was when Balanta blew up a balloon, placed it between his knees and played it as a drum with two spatula-type instruments. It produced a sound very similar to that of a bass drum.

Balanta took little breaks and started dancing. Towards the end of the show, he called out to the crowd and asked them to join him on stage. This led to a lot of dancing and singing.

In her welcome speech, Colombian ambassador Monica Lanzetta noted that India-Colombia relations dated to 1959. The bilateral relations would diversify in the future in the fields of culture, education, science, tourism, economy and trade, she added.

The event was attended by dignitaries and diplomats from all the Latin American countries, as also Russia.

“Music is like seduction. This seduced me to create sounds that were close to my heart,” Balanta had earlier told IANS in an interview.

Balanta who hails from Santander de Quichao, got world-wide recognition in the “Colombia’s Got Talent” reality show in 2012 that showcased different musicians from the Pacific Coast.

The artist will also be performing at the oath-taking ceremony of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Aug 7.


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