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Art forms merge on single platform

STAGECRAFT: Bollywood actor Manoj Joshi and team perform Hindi play Chanakya at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, hosted a five-day Shreshtha Bharat Sanskriti Samagam, a national festival of performing arts, that concluded here on Monday.

The morning sessions were dedicated to seminars on art forms, including theatre, music and dance, at Bhanja Kala Mandap with scholars, artistes and researchers from different parts of the country taking part. The evening sessions included live performances at Rabindra Mandap.

Among the artistes who performed at the festival included Rashid Khan, Rakesh Chaurasia, Shashank Subramaniam, T.H. Vikku Vinayakram and dancers Raja-Radha Reddy and Padma Subramanyam. Satyabrat Rout and Moinul Haque presented plays in Hindi and a mime recital, respectively.

The seminars were a learning experience for the participants, especially upcoming artistes, from the state.

"We are honoured that the sessions included Odissi music along with Hindustani and Carnatic traditions," said singer Ramahari Das.

He said that while Odia language and Odissi dance have already been categorised as classical, the tag still eludes Odissi music, which has a tradition of over a thousand years.

The Akademi has chosen six cities across India to host the series of unique festivals. The next five festivals will be held in Vadodara, Bhopal, Thanjavur or Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Amritsar and Guwahati.

Akademi chairperson Sekhar Sen said the festival was the first of its kind for India where all art traditions came together.

"The thrust is to develop an inter-disciplinary approach towards art where a dancer will interact with a puppeteer and know the work of a folk singer. We aim to make our next generation aware of our great cultural traditions through these festival series that will include performances and seminars to deliberate on the past, present and future of art traditions," he said.

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