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Time for Lok Mahotsav

- Four international teams to take part in Sambalpur event

Sambalpur, Dec. 16: Sambalpur will get to see performances by international dance groups at the Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav, which will begin on January 4.

Egyptian group Eastern Band Folk Art, Bagta Dance Art Academy from Bhutan, Wind Africa Band from Ghana and Rodhi Ghar from Nepal are slated to take part in the programme.

“The Lok Mahotsav is an amazing conglomeration of tradition and art. Every year, we invite national and local cultural teams to perform here. Dying form of arts and dances are also exhibited during this festival. This time, we have tried to bring cultural groups from foreign countries. This will add a new flavour to the festival,” said team convener of the event Alok Panda.

Five teams from other states, six teams from different parts of Odisha, six local teams, six teams that perform dying dance forms and four international teams will take part in the event, which will conclude on January 6.

Panda said: “Teams from Ghana, Nepal and Bhutan have already completed the official formalities to participate in the festival. But, the team from Egypt has some problems in securing visa. But we are optimistic that they will be able to join us.”

Local folk dances like dand, ghubkubudu, rangeen kirtan, solha suanda, karma, chhau, jodi sankha, desia, banabadi and chaiti ghuda will be performed at the festival. The committee has also invited performers from Haryana to perform ghumal, charkola dancers from Mathura, khalbelia dancers from Rajasthan and bhangra dancers from Punjab.

“We expect our guests to be here on January 3. The next day, the participants will take part in a procession that will pass through the major areas of the city. This year, the festival has a budget of Rs 13 lakh,” said officer on special duty for Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav Surya Mishra.

“The Lok Mahotsav is organised in a grand way in Sambalpur. And I am really excited to know that teams from abroad would take part in the festival,” said Dev Priyadarshi, a student.