For the first time in Kolkata, a group of young energetic people came together to present the ‘songs of the soil’ of Bengal and the North-East in 1999. That was the beginning of DOHAR.
DOHAR the Bengali word, which means Chorus, following a solo lead voice, is a manifestation of the basic spirit with which this singing group was formed. Our mission is to cater the rustic songs of the soil to the urban and rural mass in its original form and flavour. We are thus the chorus of those illustrious bauls and fakirs of greater Bengal and northeast. We are also involved in an endeavour to form an archive of this treasure chest of tunes and philosophy.
DOHAR is a group of folk musicians of international repute – a platform for cultural personalities, who consider this world as a musical bonanza and intends to energise it’s inhabitants with the melodious power of folk tunes, specially of greater Bengal as well as the North Eastern States of the Country. In brief, DOHAR is an endless journey of music having strong connections with the root, on one hand and going beyond all boundaries, on the other.
DOHAR demonstrates, represents, produces and works on 30-35 folk forms specially from North eastern part of India, West Bengal & Bangladesh and use to play more than 25 different kind of etnic/folk instruments of India.
The genres of folk song DOHAR used to perform : Baul (the devine songs of a Community called Baul in Bengal), Bhatiyali (songs, specially related to river of East Bengal), Bhawaiya (the basic melody of North Bengal), Chatka (the faster form of bhawaiya), Jhumur (the basic melody of some part of South Bengal which also use to sung among the tea garden`s labours of Assam and North-Bengal), Saarigaan(songs of boat racing, harvesting etc) Jaari gaan (songs in the memory of kaarvala, sung in muharram month of muslim calendar), Gaajan/Charak(songs of a carnival of Shiva in the last day of bengali year), Dhamail-geet (songs of different festival), Patriotic folk songs, Bihu-Kamrupi(the songs of Assam),etc.
In the presentations, DOHAR tries to capture the rustic milieu in a few sketches which are not at all naturalistic but only an aid to stir the audiences’ imagination.
DOHAR also present Tagore songs accompanied with various ethnic folk instruments like DUBKI,
DOTARA, BANJO, FLUTE, SHINGA, MANDIRA, KASHI, KORTAL, HARMONIUM, SARINDA, DHAK, MRIDANGO, DHOLOK, GANGIRA, MADOL, PAKHOAJ AND OTHER DRUMS & PERCUSSIONS
More than 25 ethnic/folk instruments DOHAR used to play, like :
STRINGS : EKTARA, DOTARA, SARAJ, ANANDA LAHARI.
BOWING & BLOWING : BAMBOO FLUTE, SHINGA, HARMONIUM, SANDIRA, SANKHA ETC.
DRUMS & PERCUSSIONS : DHAK, MRIDANGO, DHOLOK, GANJIRA, MADOL, SRIKHOL, DHAMSHA, BAULA
DHOL, PAKHAJ, TABLA, GOPI JANTRO, DUBKI, KASHI, KORTAL, GHUNGUR, KATH KARTAL.