| Rupashree Mohapatra performs Mahari dance at the Mahanadi Festival in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das |
Cuttack, May 10: A vivid display of traditional dance forms was seen at the ongoing 7th Mahanadi Festival here.
The Mahari dance was the centre of attraction on the Tuesday, third evening, of the cultural extravaganza.
Eminent Mahari dancer Rupashree Mohapatra and her group showcased the oldest dance form of the state that gave birth to Odissi and Gotipua dance.
Six artistes of the group regaled the audience with a special performance based on the devotion of Mahari dancer towards Lord Jagannath during the famous Chandan Yatra, also known as the summer festival of the lord.
“Since it is an ancient temple ritual dance form, of late, Mahari has been successful in touching the hearts of millions of people across the globe. In today’s dance item, we depicted the traditional rituals of Chandan Yatra.
“This used to be performed in the temple by devadasis,” said Mohapatra.
The Mahari dance includes both nritya or pure dance movements and abhinaya or expressional dance.
“As an artiste, I have been trying to promote the Mahari dance. The Srimandir Mahari Parampara, which is organised every year in Bhubaneswar, is an attempt towards this.
“In the festival, seminars about the evolution of Mahari dance, its costumes and other aspects are promoted,” Mohapatra added.
Apart from Mahari dance, semi-classical and folk dance by Cuttack-based Nrutyajyoti group were the other attractions.
The cultural event began on May 5. The first two days saw a number of music and dance performances.
Sambalpuri dance by the artistes of Sambalpuri Kala Kendra was the centre of attraction on the second day. Artistes of the group performed Dalkhai dance, which depicted the love and affection of sisters for their brothers and a ritual in which sisters fast for the well being of their brothers during Dussehra.
However, it was the Sambalpuri song Rangabati that held the attention of the audience.
Organised by Kind India Foundation, the Mahanadi Festival has been successful in drawing huge crowds not only from Mahanadi Vihar, where the event is being hosted, but also from other parts of the city.
“Our main objective is to promote and provide a platform to the folk artistes of the state to showcase their talent, which is essential in keeping ancient dance forms alive,” said Chaudhury Satya Das, secretary of the organising group.