Offstage – portraits at Surajkund Mela
Surajkund crafts mela.
I visited the once popular mela (festival) after many years in 2013 again. Expecting to find handicrafts from all over India, and which I did, as Indian handicrafts have never lost their appeal at any point of time in history. But what I was not expecting to find is what this essay is about.
The performers offstage.
Somewhere in the centre of the mela (festival) grounds, there is a stage where performers from all over India and south Asian countries have their cultural performances. Everyday a new state or country, a new set of dancers with different faces and different clothes. A cultural euphoria and a photographers paradise. The performance was outstanding. What interested me more, however, was the energy after the performance. I followed the dancers to their backstage area and this is where I found my spot. Some waiting for their turn and some groups chatting. And there was always someone with a mobile. The perfect selfie time. I stayed on because my eyes could not leave their faces. Incredible colourful make up and heavy ornaments. Nowhere is Krishna seen adorned with these ornaments and his Radha with peacock feathers and a twinkle in her eyes. A Kazakhstan dancer sitting nearby poses a happy smile for me.
I was happy to stay backstage.
In this essay, I present a few portraits of the wonderful dancers who were happy to pose for me. Many countries and many cultures.
Only One smile.
Fine Art Photography
All images are subject to copyright.