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Dance and theatre transcend barriers

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 14: The cultural evenings of the Anjali International Children’s festival turned into an inspirational sojourn for the city audience.

Despite physical challenges, artistes from all over the country gave brilliant performances at the Rabindra Mandap, winning over many hearts.

The play staged by Onyo Desh theatre group and dance recital by artistes of Articulate cast a spell on the viewers.

The highlight of Friday evening was the play performed by differently-abled artistes of Onyo Desh from Calcutta. The play was based on Rabindranath Tagore’s play Raktakarabi. Around 30 visually impaired performers brought out the essence of the play.

Raktakarabi deals with the vices of totalitarianism that was strongly prevalent during the British rule in India. Following Tagore’s original script, the story was based on a small kingdom ruled by a ruthless king. The subservient are forced to drown their worries, pain and sorrows by consuming liquor. How Nandini, the protagonist of the play, through her reasoning and love, transforms the king and ushers him to fight against the corrupt system that he has created, is the core of the play.

“I have been working with the visually impaired for many years. My only aim in life is to bring out the hidden talents of these people. Through this performance the performers request everyone to look at their abilities and ignore their disabilities,”said Subhasish Gangopadhyay, founder of Onyo Desh.

The cultural programme of the children’s festival concluded on Sunday with a Bharatnatyam performance by the Articulate dance troupe from Mysore. The finesse of their mudras and their coordinated footwork despite the 10 artistes being visually impaired, left the audience in awe. The performers presented as many as seven recitals back to back. The programme started with a vandana to invoke divine blessings. These talented dancers with their in-sync movements and facial expressions in dance items such as asarita, ananda nartaganapati, janaki ramana, ganesh stotram and thillana delighted the spectators.

The efficiency and poise, with which the visually impaired artistes performed, was a treat to the audience’s eyes.

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