Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Nov 26:
The open-air auditorium at the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha’s best known architectural monument, will feature, for the first time, two ancient dance forms – Mahari and Gotipua – during the annual Konark Festival, the five-day cultural extravaganza beginning from December 1. The mega event will culminate on December 5.
These two dance forms originated from the temples of Odisha.
Mahari exponent Rupashree Mohapatra is responsible for bringing alive the charm of this ancient dance form on stage. She and her team of 17 dancers are busy synchronising steps and practising with music for over eight hours a day and are determined to put up a good show at the festival, said Culture Department Secretary Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee.
Konark Festival, a dance festival held every year in December in backdrop of the Sun temple, is jointly organised by Odisha’s culture and tourism department and Odissi Research Centre.
“With the recommendations of the selection committee, we have included Gotipua and Mahari dances in the Konark Festival. As the Odissi dance originated from Gotipua and Mahari dances, we have decided to present these two dance forms in the festival,” said Dr Padhee.
Culture Minister Ashok Panda will inaugurate the festival.
Students of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Odissi Research Centre and the Utkal University of Culture will showcase Odissi dance on the first day. Veteran Kathak danseuse Padmashri Shovana Narayan would also present a Kathak performance on the day.
Besides, other classical dance forms like Kuchipudi, Odishi, Sattriya classical dance of Assam, Bharat Natyam, etc, would be presented by several eminent performing artists during the five days of the festival. Besides, the Indian Council of Cultural Relation (IICR) has agreed to feature a Bhutan traditional dance performance onDecember 5, Padhee said, adding this will help enhance the relationship between India and Bhutan in the cultural field.
An International Sand Art Festival would also be held at the Chandrabhaga beach which will also start from December 1 and will continue till December 5.
Three international sand artists from Canada, Bulgaria and Russia would participate in the sand art festival and will create sand art on various themes like climates change, disability and Nabakalebar festival. This apart, nearly 30 sand artists from across the country, including Sudarshan Patnaik and Manmohan Mohapatra would participate in the sand art festival.