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Stage set for Odissi meet

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 28: Preparations are on in full swing for the fourth edition of Odissi International – the annual union of Odissi dancers across the world, to be held here in December.

Since 2010, the year when the concert was hosted for the first time, the number of countries from where dancers have been taking part in this festival, has only been increasing. This year, too, artistes from as many as 15 countries will take part in the Odissi dance get-together.

“Artistes from USA, France, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Japan and many other countries will take part in the event. This apart, there will also be artistes from 20 states of the country,” festival co-ordinator Shyamahari Chakra told The Telegraph.

One of the constant elements of the festival, which is also the most interesting part of it, is that the 200-odd participants themselves manage the entire event.

“All participants take care of their own travel and accommodation fares. Also, they pool in funds for the stage, food and other logistical support that are required to conduct the festival,” said Chakra.

The Odissi International, 2013, will be hosted from December 18 to 22. However, a few changes have been included in this year’s programme schedule. Unlike other years when solo male dancers performed in between solo performances of female artistes, one evening will entirely be dedicated to male dancers this year. This will include performances by eminent dancers such as Durga Charan Ranbir, Ratikant Mohapatra and young dancer Rahul Acharya.

Another feature of the event is the international talent search competition, which was introduced last year. Dancers below the age of 30 will be contesting for the pageant of the best talent, for which already 157 entries have been registered. The entries include eight contestants from USA.

There will also be an evening of nrutyabhinaya or expressional Odissi dance. There will be a talk by renowned dancers such as Minati Mishra and Ratna Roy every evening before the commencement of the performances.

“Minati Mishra, the oldest living Odissi performer, will give a lecture on Natya Shastra and explain Odissi in the light of this epic text by Bharat Muni. Similarly, Ratna Roy will be talking about the Odissi gharana and traditions of the dance as set by the first Odissi guru Pankaj Charan Das,” he said.

The event will be hosted at Bhanja Kala Mandap. All arrangements of boarding and stage planning, as well as the schedules of the five-day event, are in the final stage of planning, said a member of cultural group Samskritiki, which is organising the dance fest.