One of the most remarked-upon acts at the Madison World Music Festival last weekend were the Dhoad Gypsies. The group of Rajasthani musicians and dancers wowed the audience with both their tunes and visual accompaniments. In her review of the two-night series at the UW Memorial Union, Emily Mills described the scene: "The Gypsies' show included performances by one man who balanced a jar of water on up to four small glasses at a time on top of his head while dancing. He also stood on a bed of nails and three curved swords and breathed fire in time with the music -- extra fun if you happened to be sitting right up against the stage like I was."
Another attendee at the Saturday night spectacle on the Terrace concurred. "It was truly amazing," he wrote, "quick, repeated billowing bursts of flame in time with the music."
Not surprisingly, this feat was captured on video, along with many other performances through the entire festival. A brief clip focuses on this balancing act: "Here [the] fakir is piling a clay jar filled with water on glass cups," writes the videographer. "He eventually danced with the jar piled atop four glasses, stood on a tile of nails, [and] blew clouds of fire at the crowd. Wow. The music would have been mind-blowing enough without him. The crowd was possessed by their music, their show."
Another concert clip features the fire-blowing that followed. This, along with many other videos from the festival, can be found below.
Paul Baker, host of the Caravan world music program on WSUM, shot a pair of videos from the festival, the first also featuring the Dhoad Gypsies and the second capturing the closing performance by Louis Mhlanga, a guitarist from Zimbabwe. Baker also published a photo gallery from the festival featuring both performances.
Friday night at the Madison World Music Festival featured performances by three groups in the Wisconsin Union Theater; brief videos from each were shot and shared by the proprietors of Russian Madison. Up first is a pair of clips -- here and here -- featuring Chirgilchin, a troupe of throat singers hailing from the Tuva Republic, a federal subject of Russia located on its border with Mongolia. Then there are a trio of clips -- here, here, and here -- showcasing Dominican guitarist Puerto Plata. Finally, there is the pair of videos -- here and here -- that feature the American-Iranian rocker Haale.
As noted in the description for one more clip of Haale, the festival is "a snapshot of how cool UW-Madison can be on a fall evening."