3000 steps to set record - Come December, Odissi dance to find place in Guinness

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  • Published 14.08.11
Moves of pride

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 13: The classical dance form of the state is all set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. The state culture department, along with Washington-based Indian Performing Arts Promotion (IPAP) Inc., is busy organising the Fourth International Odissi Festival in December in the city. The festival will feature a unique event where 3,000 Odissi dancers will perform simultaneously.

“We had the concept in mind for quite some time now and have even secured the license of Guinness for the event. The plan got a boost from chief minister Naveen Patnaik when we discussed about it on Friday,” said Pratap Das, a board member of the IPAP.

Eminent artistes, culture enthusiasts, and dance and music gurus such as Minati Mishra, Shantanu Mohapatra, Ramahari Das, Lalit Man Singh, Khirod Patnaik, Sunil Kothari and many others are members of the IPAP.

“The Odissi spectacle will be held on the inaugural evening of the Fourth International Odissi Festival. For the second time, the festival will be held in Bhubaneswar. It will feature over 500 international Odissi artistes from 20 countries,” said Das. The festival was earlier held in 2000 and 2003 in Washington, D.C. and in 2006 in Bhubaneswar.

“The chief minister was excited about the event and promised us all support. He said he would invite President Pratibha Patil for the occasion. He also suggested holding the event at Kalinga Stadium so that 3,000 dancers can present their performance in front of a huge crowd,” said Das, adding that the event will be dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the formation of the state.

In his fifties, Das, an NRI, had moved to USA to serve the US federal government. He had held important positions in education, defence and justice departments there. At present, he works with the US department of agriculture. The International Odissi Festival is his brainchild, for which he has already visited Orissa thrice this year.

Culture secretary Ashok Tripathy said the department had already started working for the international festival that will be held from December 23 to 30.