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When hues of culture merge

Bhubaneswar, April 2: Colourful renditions of various performing arts of Odisha were seen at the second edition of the Lokakala Mahotsav held at the Exhibition Ground here on Sunday. Artistes from different districts of the state displayed their skills in folk dances at the event.

The Mahotsav, which was simultaneously organised along with the Utkal Divas celebrations by the information and public relations department of the state government, began with a performance by conch blowers from Ganjam district.

Considered as an auspicious sign, the conch blowers played in the echoing traditional style. They illustrated their dexterity in their craft by climbing on top of each other while continuing to blow the conch at the same time.

After this performance was the turn of yet another folk dance — the ancient Gotipua. The dance was performed by young artistes who first paid tributes to Odisha’s heritage and then performed Bandha Nrutya that included thrilling formations by the little dancers.

Colourful folk dances accompanied with the thumping beats on traditional musical instruments continued with the artistes from Kalahandi staging Ghumura, Koraput tribals presenting Dhemsa, Boudh artistes showcasing Jalia Sabara Nrutya and Dhenkanal artistes performing the Gopala Laudi dance.

The viewers appreciated the folk dances. “I am proud to know that our state has such rich culture with a unique dance form from every region. The multicolored attires and accessories worn by the artistes as well as the vibrant music together made it a fascinating event,” said Anita Mohanty, a college student.

Sambalpuri dance that is loved across the state was entertaining, while the martial dance form Paika Nacha from Khurda was energetically showcased by the artistes.

The Ghoda Nacha was the highlight of the evening. Artistes from Choudwar, dressed in dazzling rural costumes, were seen riding cloth-made horses while their leader, who sat at the centre along with a female artiste, created waves of laughter in the audience with rib-tickling jokes.

Another remarkable performance was the Mughal Tamsa, a folk theatre from the era of the Mughal rule in Odisha, presented by Bhadrak-based artistes.