| A group of Odissi dancers perform at the Konark Dance and Music Festival in Konark on Tuesday. Telegraph picture |
Bhubaneswar, Feb. 20: The 28th edition of the Konark Dance and Music festival got off to a colourful start on Tuesday evening with artistes from across the country leaving the audience spellbound with their performances.
Exquisite display of classical and folk dance and music resounded at Konark Natya Mandap, founded by legendary Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, in Konark.
The Konark Natya Mandap, which was designed resembling an open-air dancing hall of the Sun Temple in Konark by Pradhan, was decked with earthen lamps on the tiers of the dome. Dancers of the host institute danced on the stage as well as the arch of the replica where they then took postures similar to the sculptures of dancers on the Konark temple.
The artistes inaugurated the evening with a tribute to their late guru. Following them was a scintillating repertoire by Bharatnatyam troupe of Ananda Shankar Jayant from Hyderabad. The troupe, led by Ananda, started with a devotional invocation of the Sun god or Surya.
In the Surya namaskar, they paid tributes to the presiding deity of Konark, the venue of the event. The beauty of spring season was portrayed through dance in the next item. They then went on to regale the viewers with a Meera bhajan, thilana and Shiv stuti.
Another attraction of the evening was the instrumental symphony presented by veena maestro from Chennai, Pandit Rajesh Vaidya. Musical notes of various instruments culminated to take the listeners to a trance.
Apart from the cultural reverie, other interesting events marked the festival, organised by the Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Foundation and the state tourism department. Some crowd-pullers were a photo exhibition by young shutterbugs of Bhubaneswar-based photography club, Cliquers, and a sand art exhibition by 12 young artists at the Chandrabhaga beach.
“The dances were so elegant, and I loved the sand art, too. It is amazing to see the artists working so easily with the slippery sands of this beach,” said Natalie Turner, a tourist.
Organiser Shibashis Pradhan said the Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Award would be presented to flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia this year while the Sanjukta Birala Prativa Samman would be conferred on father and daughter dancer duo V.S. Ramamoorthy and Manjula Ramaswamy during the five-day festival.