11, Dec 2023
This weekend, Goa experienced the coming together of African beats, Goan songs, Queer Talent and Dutch Art to create magic at LaLaLand Festival

Dec 11, 2023: The fifth edition of the international LaLaLand festival concluded yesterday in Don Jao Heritage Mansion, Goa. With over 2000 LaLa festive enthusiasts visiting LaLaLand and experiencing the marvel of twenty-five amazing, live, national, and international acts, it was a massive success. The magic of LaLaLand brought locals, international and domestic tourists, art connoisseurs, families, and music enthusiasts together to create a vibrant and lively atmosphere at the picturesque village of Nagoa.

Noreen Van Holstein, founder, of LaLaLand Festival said, “Goa has once again proven to be a great destination that can bring together the best of everyone and I am grateful to the support I have received from all of LaLaLand’s supporters. I hope to continue bringing LaLaLand to Goa every year and make it even bigger.”

Highlights of the event include:

Kula Skoro: The audience was left spellbound when Kula Skoro took centre stage. Their different dance styles called Songe, Awasa, Banamba, and Alèke have been passed on from the enslaved Africans who liberated themselves from the Trans-Atlantic slavery and captivity by Dutch colonizers.

The instruments they used were three drums: the pikiendoon for rhythmic patterns, the tundoon for the constant beat determining tempo, and the gaandoon, which communicates and varies. LaLa festive enthusiasts loved every bit of Kula Skoro’s performance and were left wanting for more. The performance connected four continents together – Africa, South America, Asia and Europe

Dharavi Rocks: The kids from Dharavi Rocks were absolute rockstars. Known to create music using recycled material, Dharavi Rocks created a fun and vibrant vibe where they involved the audience to join them as well. Known for their ‘call and respond’ technique, a leader from Dharavi Rocks made a musical phrase and the rest of the group responded to the phrase. This interactive element of their performances helped to break down barriers between the performers and the audience, creating a shared musical experience that is both entertaining and inspiring.

AI Art Exhibit: Indian AI artist Ari Jayaprakash and Dutch AI artist Martijn Baarda created a series of AI images exclusively for LaLaLand Goa titled, “Nothing is what it seems”. This collaboration explores current AI technologies with artistic expressions from different continents and cultures. It also exemplifies the polarised yet harmonious integration of art and artificial intelligence in the contemporary creative landscape.

Musical performance: A fully immersive experience by Tritha, LaLaLand’s golden voice mascot, multi-genre composer and producer known for her super fun fusion sets blending Indian classical into contemporary genres and rising positive vibrations. The interesting collaboration featured Ari Jaiprakash on AI-driven visuals, Pradeep Vidhate on dance, songwriter Ritika Singh from SPACE, Rudi Tiessler on saxophone, and some amazing surprise guest talents.

Local schools presence: The audience, including proud parents, couldn’t help but gush as their little ballerinas performed at a Ballet Recital conducted by Charizma Dance Academy. The adorable little Ballerinas and their teachers brought to you a world where you experience performances from Classic Ballet scenes to magical Arabian Night. LaLa festive enthusiasts experienced a beautiful aerial performance by Masha and her students, who run Dance Republic from Artjuna in Anjuna, Goa.

Rap Performance by Bongisio: At LaLaLand, Bongisio, a Merces-based Konkani rapper, singer, songwriter, and music producer, known to represent social issues in his songs made his presence felt as he performed his special act curated for the festival. He also organized a rap workshop at the festival.

Safari Cats: The Safari Cats took everyone’s breath away with gravity-defying performances. Acrobats, fire hoops, human pyramids, contortion, juggling, hoop diving, and limbo are just a few of the acts that left everyone speechless throughout their show.

Chakna by Subodh Kerkar: Renowned Goan Artist, Subodh Kerkar unveiled his art installation that was created using trash collected by the LaLaLand festival through its Trash4Cash initiative. The sculpture portrays a person on the top of a beer mug eating potato chips.

Sal”Aura” featuring Jiya Labeija: Sal “Aura” and Jiya Labeija, two captivating drag queens, brought a kaleidoscope of entertainment to the vibrant stage of the LaLaLand Festival. With their dazzling performances and flair for the fantastical, they celebrated love in all its forms, creating a spellbinding experience for audiences immersed in the magical world of drag.

After Sal Auras dazzling performance, the festival ended with a spectacular performance where Goan Rapper Bongisio came together with Kula Skuro’s African dancers and Dharavi Rocks along with a fire performance by Safari Cats.

Further, there were workshops conducted throughout the day that gave people the opportunity to interact with the performers.

Living in LaLaLand means living in a world of dreams. LaLaLand was conceived with the vision of transforming a beautiful dream into reality. Through a vibrant palette of colours, enchanting magic, and all things delightful, this festival embodies the essence of happiness, love, respect, and support.

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