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Gopalpur beach fest comes to an end

- Music and dance enthral town residents

Berhampur, Dec. 28: The Gopalpur Beach Festival — 2012 concluded here today amid much funfair.

The five-day festival, which showcased the rich cultural heritage of Ganjam district, had the crashing waves of the scenic Gopalpur beach as its backdrop.

Folk dance performances from different parts of the district as well as from outside were special attractions of the festival. While renditions by Shaan, Alka Yagnik and Babul Supriyo were the highlights of the show, Odissi dance by Dona Ganguly, wife of former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, was another showstopper.

While the Bollywood singers dished out some of their biggest hits, Dona also presented an elaborate Odissi dance drama.

There was also a collage of folk dances, including jodi sankha, ranapa dance, animal mask dance and ghanta mrudunga by artistes of Berhampur, Gopalpur and Chhatrapur. A troupe from Mayurbhanj also performed chhau in the festival.

A musical show by Odia singer Kumar Bapi and his troupe, a classical and folk dance show from Manipur, recitals of singer Pammi and her group, modern dance by Prince dance group, Kuchipudi by artistes of Andhra Pradesh, albuja and kachi dance of Rajasthan, performances of Abhijeet Majumdar and Geet Sangeet orchestra, Bihu by artistes of Assam, ghumar and calbalia by Rajashthani artistes, comedy show by Pappu Pam Pam and ballet dance by Russian dancers were part of the various cultural shows of the festival.

“The magical voice of Alka Yagnik mesmerised the audience while Shaan and Babul Supriyo were also at their best. I also loved the mask dances and the performance of the conch-blowing (jodi sankha) troupe,” said Ritesh Narania, a tourist from Hyderabad.

This year, the beach festival was organised jointly by the Ganjam district culture department, the tourism department and the Gopalpur Notified Area Council. However, the Ganjam District Hotel Association, which was always the convener of this cultural extravaganza, disassociated itself from the festival this year.

“We did not participate as we were ignored by the organising committee this year,” said Uma Shankar Panigrahy, the president of the association.

The beach festival was started in 1996 by the Ganjam District Hotel Association to promote tourism and culture in Gopalpur.