Calcutta, Jan. 30: A desire to promote traditional forms and support young artistes in their journey of discovery of Indian dance ushered in the annual Pragjyoti International Dance Festival.
Organised by Kalpa, a society for promotion of literature, art, culture and social harmony, in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the fifth edition of the two-day festival will be held in Guwahati from February 9.
Established in 2008, Kalpa decided to institute the festival to encourage young exponents who have dedicated their lives to dance.
“The festival is an attempt to focus on young devotees of dance and share with them the aesthetic and spiritual joys associated with the art forms. Along with a celebration of these youthful energies, the festival is also a tribute to the masters of Indian dance who have contributed to the panoramic beauty of our cultural heritage,” said the director of the festival, Delhi-based Anwesa Mahanta, an exponent of Xattriya and Bharatanatyam.
Aimed at promoting integration through art, it also contributes towards international harmony and provides a platform for social and cultural convergence.
Dancers from different parts of India and countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan, Russia, the UK, Ukraine, and the US will participate in the festival.
Delhi-based Magdalena Niernsee, from Warsaw, Poland, admired the beautiful performances at the preceding editions of the festival, and said, “It would be a great pleasure to perform at the festival. I really admire the Xattriya form of dance.”
“I am planning to present a classical programme of Kathak in teental/jhaptal,” she added.
The festival will comprise Panorama, a presentation on the nuances of dance over the years, and Reflections, a photo exhibition, at Rabindra Bhawan.
A series of interactive sessions shall also be held between the dancers and students in the mornings on February 9 and 10 at Axom Jatiya Vidyalay and GEMS NPS International School respectively.
The festival shall commence at Rabindra Bhawan at 5.30pm. Former Assam chief secretary Haren Das will inaugurate the festival and light the ceremonial lamp. Painter Neel Pawan Baruah will also be present.
A gayan bayan led by Bayanacharya Ghanakanta Bora, Guwahati, Kuchipudi by Gururaju from Bangalore, Kathak by Niernsee and Odissi by disciples of Garima Hazarika from Mitali Kala Kendra, Guwahati, will be the highlights of the first day.
The second day will feature Manipuri by R.K. Geetanjali from Imphal, Odissi by Chloe Romero from France, Bharatanatyam by Pavitra Bhatt from Mumbai, Kathak by Megharanjani Medhi from Guwahati and Xattriya by disciples of Bhanu Sahariya from Youth Club, Mangaldoi.
Gururaj said, “Kalpa provides an invaluable and coveted platform for young artistes like me to showcase our talent. It will be a pleasure and privilege to perform at such a forum.”