Artistes of national and international repute would converge at the Sonepur fair from December 23.
The art, culture and youth affairs department would organise dance and music programmes at the event to draw people towards “healthy entertainment” and keep them away from “theatre culture”.
Kathak dancers Rajendra Gangani and Rajeshwari, Qawwali artistes Anjum Bano and Sabri brothers would perform at the three-day event called Harihar Kshetra Mahotsav. Pandit Rajendra Gangani is an exponent of the Jaipur gharana of Kathak. Rajeshwari is also from the Jai-pur gharana of the dance form and is a disciple of Gangani.
“The idea behind the Harihar Kshetra Mahotsav is to try and bring down the popularity of theatres at Sonepur fair,” Vinay Kumar, the director of the art, culture and youth affairs department, said.
The state government has decided not to allow theatres on the fair premises from this year. The move was the first step to give the fair a new look and avoid anything considered “vulgar and a source of trouble and unrest”. The government, however, changed its plan at the last moment, as the organisers complained that banning theatres all of a sudden would have an adverse impact on the event.
Vinay added that Gangani would perform on December 23, while Rajeshwari would treat the audience on December 24. A Qawwali competition is scheduled on the third day featuring Anjum Bano and Sabri brothers.