SANTIAGO – The Chilean capital began on Friday its annual date with music, dance and art from all over the world with the latest edition of the World of Music, Art and Dance festival, which returned to the country with a number of activities and workshops.
In its fifth consecutive year, the WOMAD festival is expected to attract around 50,000 visitors to the event held in the Recoleta commune over the weekend.
The event will be attended by prominent musicians and bands across genres, including Grammy-award winning Cuban salsa group Los Van Van and Dominican afro-feminist jazz singer Xiomara Fortuna.
This eclecticism has become a hallmark of the festival, where the idea is about discovering global sounds and cultures and finding artists influential in different global circuits outside the mainstream, according to WOMAD Chile director Giorgio Varas.
This year’s festival also offers a wide range of free workshops for both children and adults.
Notable among these is a DJ class for children, workshops on vertical gardens, Polynesian dance and an open yoga session.
These events are organized to run during the afternoon, while music takes center-stage after dusk.
The opening performance at the three-day event was given by the Manganiars of Rajasthan, a traditional musician community from India who used their striking stage setting to hypnotize the audience with a colorful spectacle while playing violin and sitar, a traditional string instrument.
This was followed with a performance by the local band Guachupe, which attracted hundreds of fans dressed in black and yellow – the group’s trademark colors – who sang and jumped along with the performers.
The stage was then set for the experimental music of Lluvia Acida (Acid Rain), two Chilean DJs with a strong socio-political message, who stressed the importance of defending the indigenous Mapuche community and the scientific efforts being made in Antarctica.
Portuguese singer Lura was the next to captivate the crowd with her unique performance, where she danced along with the audience with a sound which mixes traditional peasant music from her island with modern electronic tunes.
The fans continued to dance along with French DJ Matisse and Madagascar’s Tressor until the Italian group Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino took to the stage.
The traditional music from the southern Italian region of Salento was a perfect culmination to the first day of the festival, where organizers are hoping to match the numbers of earlier editions.