Bhubaneswar, Nov 29:
The annual Konark Festival, to be organised by the Department of Tourism, in association with Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) and Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy (OSNA) at Konark from December 1 to 5, will be bigger and better this year, Tourism Director Manoranjan Patnaik said on Friday.
Addressing a press conference in the afternoon, Patnaik said the International Sand Art Festival will also be held simultaneously on the occasion. .
While the Konark festival will be organized at the open air auditorium in Konark, the sand art fest will be held at the Chandrabhaga beach to draw tourists to the state, he said.
Eminent artistes Sadanam Balakrishnan, Aloka Kanungo, Singhjit Singh, Alekhya Punjala, Anitha Guha, Rani Karnaa and Ileana Citaristi will perform during the five-day festival. The dance fare on offer includes performances in Odissi, Kathak, Manipuri, Bharatnatyam, Kathakali & Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi.
The International Sand Art Festival, a part of the Konark Festival, will be better designed this year to attract more tourists and visitors to the Chandrabhaga Beach at Konark. Twenty three artistes from Odisha, one each from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and five from abroad – one each from Canada, United States of America, Italy, Austria and Sri Lanka – will participate in the event this year, the Tourism Director said.
Internationally reputed sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik is the Brand Ambassador for Odisha like last year, he added.
Each year, the majestic Sun Temple of Konark serves as a backdrop for the scintillating Konark Dance Festival, which is a platform for different classical dance styles coming together to exhibit the beauty of those art forms.
An annual fête of Indian classical dance and music, the Konark Festival is one of the biggest dance festivals in the country, bringing champions of different classical and traditional dance forms together to display their skill and mastery over age-old dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Odissi, Mohiniyattam and Kathak dance styles, among others.