| A dancer performs at the Bharat Muni Festival at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: Flute exponent Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia was conferred with the Bharat Muni Samman by cultural troupe Kalingayana Touryatrikam today at Rabindra Mandap.
The occasion was the valedictory event of the Bharat Muni festival named after the writer of the ancient book on grammar and techniques of performing arts, Natyashastra.
The cultural programme began on Monday evening when artistes of the host troupe performed Odissi dance depicting the different impacts of monsoons on nature and people.
Rimpa Shiva, a young tabla player, also presented her recital at the event. Various performances on classical dance and music were also staged on the concluding evening today.
In Puri, the annual festival of traditional performing arts, Sreekhetra festival, began on Monday at the Muktakasa Rangamancha. Local artistes showcased colourful folk dance forms.
The event began with processions on the streets of the town where artistes presented dance such as the Bagha nrutya or the tiger dance. The artistes wore a huge garb of a tiger and danced to the beats of drums in rhythmic beats.
The akhada or traditional gymnastic culture of the town also came alive when artistes showcased balancing acts. Specially, rotating props like a rope, so fast that it looked like a wheel and all this while standing on trays balanced on mere glasses and a cylindrical pivot.
One of the most vibrant performing arts that evolved in Puri, the medha nrutya, received great applause from viewers. The performers wore costumes and masks of characters from mythology and danced depicting an episode they are famous for in the Ramayan or Mahabharat.
There was Ravan nrutya, Parsuram nrutya, Nrusingha nrutya and so on. Medha nrutya also depicted various goddesses and looked captivating for the beautiful outfits.
Among other popular folk arts performed on the inaugural day was Baunsa Rani, an act in which a girl balances her body on a sleek wooden pole and also performs various unbelievable stunts around it.
“The festival has brought the people from different akhadas of the city together. It has been a wonderful festival to highlight and infuse life into art forms that were being forgotten,” said Ganesh Sahoo, a local resident.
The five-day fest will conclude on December 20.