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January of dance, music and books

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 1: The New Year is ready to ride on a high with literary festivals and cultural programmes lined up for January. The month will also see noted artistes and celebrities in town.

The year started with the announcement of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Awards for 2009 pand 2010. Sesha Sarata by Krupasagara Sahu and Baishrabani by Mamatamayi Choudhury have been chosen for the best novels of 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Among other winning authors are Debaprasad Das, Prabasini Mohakud Tiwari, Sanghamitra Mishra, Seemant Mohanty, Bijoy Mohanty, Manaswini Dash, Arabinda Ray, Soubhagyabanta Moharana, Krutibasa Nayak, Subhendramohan Shrichandansingh and others.

The awards will be given in nine different categories during a special event later this month, said officials.

Odia monthly Kadambini will be organising a national level writers’ conference along with a Patrika Haat or magazine exhibition during its literary festival on January 6.

While Hindi film star Dharmendra will be the chief guest, Punjabi poet Surjeet Patar, Odia author Mrutyunjay Sadangi, Chinese writer Lisa Jhung and prominent literary figures Ramakant Rath and Shantanu Kumar Acharya will be present as guests at the conference.

Theatre lovers can start the year with plays staged as part of the Natya Dhara series organised by Odisha Natya Sangha throughout the year.

City-based troupe Rangakarmi will stage Atha Sasemira Katha on three consecutive evenings starting January 1.

Classical music enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to, as the first week will witness the Odissi music festival organised by the state culture and tourism department.

To be hosted by the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre, the three-day programme that is to begin on January 8 will include recitals by both promising young and emerging artistes as well as established names such as Pandit Damodar Hota and Biswanath Pujapanda.

The state culture and tourism department will host two other significant festivals. Rajarani Music Festival, hosted annually on the premises of 11th Century architectural marvel Rajarani Temple, will be held from January 18 to 20.

The national music festival will feature legendary Carnatic vocalist Pandit Balamurali Krishna.

Eminent violinist L. Subramaniam with wife and noted singer Kavita Krishnamurthy and famous artiste Uppalapu Shrinivas, better known as Mandolin Srinivas for his wizardry with the instrument, will be in town for the festival.

Among Odisha artistes performing at the event will be senior musician Ramahari Das, exponent of percussion instrument ‘mardala’ Guru Banamali Maharana and reputed vocalist Shyamamani Devi.

Classical dances will cast a spell on connoisseurs during the three-day Mukteswar Dance Festival from January 14 to 16.

Solo, duet and group performances will be staged by well-known artistes such as Sujata Mohapatra, Naba Mishra and music compositions dedicated to Lord Shiv will be presented by revered artistes such as Prafulla Kar and Shantanu Mohapatra.

“January is one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to tourist flow to the state. Thus most festivals have been scheduled during this period,” said a senior tourism official.