|Type||Student Run, Non-Profit Organization|
|Institute||Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati|
|Major events||Juggernaut, Crescendo, Saaz, Blitzkreig, Cross Cultural Festival, Rock-o-Phonix, Electric Heels, Mr. and Ms. Alcheringa, Haute Couture, etc.|
|Prize money||Worth ₹ 1.5 million|
Alcheringa, popularly known as Alcher, is the annual cultural festival of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India. It is held for 4 nights and 3 days generally on the first weekend of February. Started in 1996 by a bunch of IITG students, Alcheringa, now in its 18th incarnation has a footfall of more than 50,000 and a participation from 350 colleges from across the country.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 History
- 3 Events
- 4 Your Dreams, Our Stage
- 5 Social initiatives
- 6 Sponsors and past associates
- 7 Highlights over the years
- 8 References
Alcheringa is a student-run non-profit organization which caters primarily to the youth of the country. It consists of competitions, informal events, workshops and showcases professional performances. Alcheringa boasts of performances by the stalwarts of the entertainment industry, from India and abroad. In the past, Alcheringa has featured performances from performers including Mohit Chauhan, Sonu Niigaam, Shaan, Strings, KK, Euphoria, Indian Ocean, Parikrama, The Raghu Dixit Project, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Anoushka Shankar, Kalki Koechlin, Isha Sharvani, Vir Das, Advaita, Motherjane and RDB. Alcheringa has also hosted foreign acts like the Swiss folk metal band Eluveitie, Israeli progressive metal band Orphaned Land, and Italian Embassy’s sponsored tour of Giuliano Modarelli.
The first edition of Alcheringa took place in 1996. Only a few events were organised and most of the participation was local from in and around Guwahati. The word 'Alcheringa' comes from the Australian aboriginal language of the Aruntas. It is roughly translated to mean "the Eternal Dreamtime".
The four nights of Alcheringa feature four Pronites where professionals from the entertainment industry perform in front of the crowds. The four nights are Saaz: the classical night, Blitzkrieg: expect anything, Crescendo: the popular night, and Juggernaut: the rock night.
Saaz - The Classical Night
The first pronite in the Alcheringa itinerary, Saaz is the classical night dedicated to a genre of music that is inherent to any culture. Started as a night dedicated to only classical Indian culture and music, Saaz has grown over the years to encompass other cultures and their music. Performances have included Anoushka Shankar, the Italian Giuliano Modarelli Trio and the virtuoso trio of Vinayak Chittar (sitar), Arnab Chakrabarty (sarod) and Aditya Kalyanpur, Advaita, Grammy award winner Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya, Pt. Bhajan Sopori, the Indo-German jazz band Mito, Kathak dancer Chitresh Das with Jason Samuels Smith and many more.
Blitzkrieg - Expect Anything
Blitzkrieg is Alcher's surprise night: The last night to be declared way after the other three have been announced. It has been named recalling the strategy adopted by the Germans during the Second World War. Over the years, it has featured a mix of performances from a variety of fields including RDB based in UK, Swarathma the folk fusion band from Bangalore, Vir Das and his comic rock band Alien Chutney, The Raghu Dixit Project: a folk fusion band from Bangalore, Soulmate from Shillong.
Juggernaut - The rock night
Juggernaut is a rock and metal themed event. The highlight of Alcheringa '10, also called Alcheringa Xtreme, was the performance from Swiss Pagan/Folk/Death metal band Eluveitie in Juggernaut. Other performances include that of Parikrama, Scribe - the hardcore metal band from Mumbai, Junkyard Groove -the Alternative Rock band from Chennai, Sceptre and Motherjane. 2012 witnessed the Israeli progressive metal band Orphaned Land
Crescendo - The popular night
The last nite at Alcheringa, Crescendo features Bollywood music industry performances. It is one where the biggest names in the music world set pulses racing. Its name was motivated by the fact that it was the last night at Alcher. Over the years, its has seen performances from Shaan, Sonu Nigam,"http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2008/jan/28iit.htm".</ref> Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, KK, Javed Ali, Remo Fernandes,"http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070205/asp/guwahati/story_7349605.asp".</ref> Strings, Indian Ocean and Euphoria.
To cater to a wider palette and to act as a filler in the slot before the pro nite, the pro shows are being held. The Proshows in the auditorium of the institute attract crowd of over 1500. These Pro-Shows have showcased popular performers and celebrities. Some of them include Isha Sharvani with her dance troupe Daksha Seth Dance Company, Kalki Koechlin with Quaff Theatre, Israeli's Ish Theatre, Kacche Lamhe, a play by Gulzar which was performed by renowned actors Lubna Salim, Kiran Karmarkar, Stray Factory, performance by Sangeet Natak Academy award winner mime artist Moinul Haque. Apart from that the demo by Ghost Riders of MTV Stuntmania fame with VJ Bani were one of the major attractions of Alcher '10.
The events of Alcheringa are divided into methodical modules that envelope aspects of cultural forms of entertainment.
- Dance The module's flagship event, called Electric Heels, witnesses participation from all parts of the country. Group, solo, street, classical, and couples events are held. All the competitions come under a Dance Championship which is awarded to the overall winner (college or institute).
- Music The music module features solo competition for instrumentalists, called "Rhapsody", and an Indian music competition 'Raga High'. From 2012, Alcheringa is hosting a solo singing competition called "Voice of Alcheringa" along the lines of a TV reality shows.
- Class Apart This module consists of five events. It features "Rock-o-Phonix" the biggest rock metal band competition in the country. It has the "Haute Couture" fashion contest which is the only fashion contest held in any college fest of the region. Other competitions include the "Mr and Mrs Alcheringa" personality contest, "Crossfade" DJ contest, and a version of the popular TV reality show Roadies.
- Drama The flagship event "Theatrix" features participants being judged based on their performance in acting (dialogue delivery, expressions, body movements), presentation encompassing costumes, music, props, use of stage, etc. Successful depiction of the plot or theme, and marks are awarded for originality. Other events include Alcher's equivalent of Nukkad Natak, called "Halla Bol", and stand-up comedy challenge whose namesake, "Why So Serious?" is a tribute to the DC Comics character The Joker.
- Fine Arts This module features a paint-on-canvas competition called "Strokes of Genius" where participants join as teams of two. "Side-Walk Chalk" is a street painting competition, painters paint T-shirts in "Graphic-T" and a collage-making competition is held. For each competition, participating artists are given a theme on the spot and the necessary materials are provided.
- Alfaaz (Literature) This literary module is organised by the IIT Guwahati Debating Society. This year[when?] Alfaaz hosted the 4th National IIT Guwahati Parliamentary Debate with prizes worth INR 70,000. The other competition, "What's the Good Word," combines literary trivia, anagrams and vocabulary questions.
- Quiz "Brainstorm" pits participants against each other. Other quizzes are incorporated in this module based on Alcheringa's theme. This year,[when?] "Cities of the World" tested student and how they know the world around them. Other theme-based quizzes are held during the festival.
- Fun N Masti (informal events) The informal events module consists of events like "Crush", "Eatopia", "Blind Date", "Amazing Race", "Oceans 14", "Queen of Sheeba", "Lan Gaming" and many others. An integral part of the module is "Alcher on the Move" where many of Alcheringa's student volunteers go to other cities. Events are organised locally and winners are given prizes. "Alcher on the Move" conveys the essence of Alcheringa to those who did not see it.
- Alcher Online Aimed to interact with the youth of the country before and after the festival, Alcher Online is a recent offshoot of Alcheringa. It shares random tid-bits with its users, lets them indulge in online competitions and is the forum of interaction between the youth and the festival throughout the year.
- Sports Module Alcheringa started this module in 2011 and become one of the few cultural festivals in India to have an elaborate sports module. An "Arm Wrestling" competition is held under this module. This year, in tandem with Alcher's theme, a "Joga Bonito" challenge was held to find the best skilled footballer at Alcher.
Your Dreams, Our Stage
These are competitions of Alcheringa that provide an opportunity to the young enthusiastic participants to live their passion and make their dream come true. Our Stage, Your Dreams offers the winners coveted internships, a chance to work under the eminent guidance of celebrity mentors and a window to take part in workshops. Some of the major opportunities have been the exclusive admission to the best actors (male and female) of the event Theatrix (performing arts module) into the diploma course at the Barry John Acting Studio for free. Also the best two DJs and two selected female DJs from Crossfade (electronic music competition) got an internship with Azaredo Acoustics, worth Rs. 1,50,000.
For music enthusiasts, Eastern Fare Music Foundation provided internships to the Best Guitarist, Best Bassist, Best Keyboardist (from Raga High) and the Best Instrumentalist from Rhapsody. Judges for the event were renowned musicians Jim Ankan Deka and Ankur Deka.
Winners of "Voice of Alcheringa", the popular solo singing contest at Alcher, got a chance to pursue free courses at the Shankar Mahadevan Academy and make the most of their voice.
The winners of the photography event got an internship opportunity under Ritam Banerjee, the world-renowned freelance photographer.
Inspired by a drive to meet the responsibilities towards society and contribute to its betterment, Alcheringa has taken numerous efficient initiatives over the years. Amidst all the glitz and glam, Alcheringa has associated itself with "Bachpan: Setting innocence Free", has worked for AIDS awareness"Fest ends with social message". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 5 February 2007. in the northeast region through educational workshops, promoting tourism, saving the rhinoceros, saving Gangetic dolphin, and Drops of Hope blood donation camp.
Drops of Hope
Drops of Hope is Alcheringa's blood donation drive and aims to create and supplement the blood bank. In a nation that requires about 4 Crore units of blood annually, of which only a meager 40 Lakh units are available, Alcheringa aims to bring to everybody’s notice how important and significant a little conscious effort from their side can be. Initially restricted to the college campus only, Alcheringa's blood donation camps have spread to other parts of Guwahati City.
An offshoot of Alcheringa 2012, in association with the NGO Pratham, Udaan intends to work with a few of orphanages in India. During the vacations of December, IIT Guwahati students reached out to local under-privileged children in more than 25 centres all over India and spared a weekend of their time. This was followed by an essay writing on 'I and India 2020' for the older kids and video shoot with the young ones. All these essays were used as a tool to understand mindset of these kids with the particular guidance and help of the NGO. The top three essays fetched prizes and were printed in the national media.
Sponsors and past associates
Alcheringa has attracted sponsorships from corporations due to huge participation of students from all over India. Many prominent names have been associated with many events in Alcheringa including NH7 Weekender, Pepsi, Manik Chand Jewellers, State Bank Of India, Tata Tiscon, Vinayak Honda, Oriflame, Star Cement, Eastern Fare Music Foundation, Nimbuzz, Spykar, Bisleri. The media sector has seen names like The Assam Tribune, The Times of India, DY365, etc. It has associated with the U.S. consulate, Khadi and Village commission.
Highlights over the years
Alcheringa 2008 - Revel in Retro
In 2008, Alcheringa had a 1970s theme.
- Junkyard Groove, the alternative rock band from Chennai
- The Raghu Dixit Project - a folk fusion band from Bangalore at Blitzkrieg.
- Shaan at Crescendo
Alcheringa 2009 - Around the world in 3 days
The 2009 edition of Alcheringa was presented with the theme "around the world in 3 days"
- Classical dance by Tridhara and fusion music by Yatra at the Inaugural Nite.
- Ganesh-Kumaresh - The violin duo at Saaz.
- Fashion show by Kallol Dutta of Lakme Fashion Week.
- Swarathma the folk fusion band from Bangalore at Blitzkrieg.
- Scribe - the hardcore metal band from Mumbai at Juggernaut.
- Performance by Hasya Kavi Dr. Kumar Vishwas.
- Sonu Nigam - at Crescendo.
Alcheringa 2010 - Xtreme
- Performance by the Sitar troupe Talim at the Inaugural Nite.
- The Giuliano Modarelli Trio at Saaz.
- Vir Das and his comic rock band Alien Chutney.
- MTV Stunt Mania demo by the stunt team Ghost Riders with VJ Bani.
- Shankar Ehsaan Loy at Crescendo.
- Swiss Folk Metal Band Eluveitie at Juggernaut.
Alcheringa 2011 - Lights Camera Action
Alcher, for the first time in its 15 editions, introduced a Sports Module, with 5-on-5 Football and Arm Wrestling competitions. The Lights Camera Action edition featured the virtuoso trio Vinayak Chittar (sitar), Arnab Chakrabarty (sarod) and Aditya Kalyanpur. Other performers included Advaita, Motherjane, RDB and KK.
Alcheringa 2012 - Urban Odyssey
Alcheringa 2012's theme was Urban Odyssey.
- "Alcheringa 2011:The Dream Gets Closer". The Meghalaya Guardian,Page 3. 17 January 2011.
- "Eluveitie For IIT Guwahati’s Alcheringa". NH7. 1 February 2010.
- "Alcheringa 2011". Assam Tribune. 2 February 2011.
- "Mito makes Alcheringa rock & roll - IIT fest gets under way with Indo-german band’s performance". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 1 February 2011.
- "Alcheringa 2011 to feature RDB on Feb 4". The Assam Tribune. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Folk Metal band ELUVEITIE to headline Rock-O-Phonix IIT Guwahati". Indian Rock Mp3. 27 January 2010.
- "Orphaned Land to perform at IIT Guwahati’s Alcheringa 2012". Metal India Magazine. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Alcheringa-Rock O Phonix 2011". Indian Music Mug. 13 Jan 2011.
- "Alcheringa's this year's theme-Lights,Camera,Action". The Meghalaya Guardian. 11 January 2011.
- "Alcheringa-2011". Purvanchal Prahari,Page 10. 12 January 2011.
- "IITians mentor needy kids". Times of India,Page 10. 23 January 2012.
- "Attractions galore at Alcheringa 2011". The Assam Tribune. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "The Dream Gets Closer". Purvanchal Prahari, Page 10. 22 January 2011.
- "Alcheringa 2011 to feature RDB on Feb 4". The Assam Tribune. 1 Feb 2011.
- "Anoushka Shankar, Others to Play IIT Guwahati’s Alcheringa 2012". NH7. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Anoushka Shankar to perform at IIT-G fest". Times Of India. 24 January 2012.
- "Orphaned Land rocks IIT-Guwahati". The Times Of India. 6 February 2012.