Odisha Biennale to break cultural boundaries

Japanese and European art forms to be showcased at week-long event

By ANWESHA AMBALY in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 5.10.15
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File picture of Natsu Nakajima performing Japanese dance Butoh

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 4: Culture enthusiasts in the city will shortly get to witness the art forms of Japan and Europe at a weeklong festival to be held at Infocity from October 26 to November 1.

Around 55 experts on several performing arts, design, visual arts, crafts, music, film and photography will take part in the Odisha Biennale. A number of dancers, photographers and artists will conduct workshops with youngsters during the festival.

Spearheaded by Bhubaneswar-based Japanese dancer Masako Ono, the festival will be held on the theme of "Melange", meaning a mixture of various things - culture, in this case.

"The aim of this project is not only to develop the production of art but also understand the importance of cultural communication to break international barriers. The workshops to be held at the event will help to promote cultural diversity through innovation, creativity and expression," said Masako.

A workshop on the Japanese dance-theatre Butoh will be conducted by Natsu Nakajima, one of the most prominent figures in the dance form founded in Tokyo in the 1960s.

Musical duo from Switzerland, Wood Vibes, would also conduct a workshop on playing the musical instruments djembe and didgeridoo. While djembe is a sort of drum that originated in West Africa, didgeridoo is a musical instrument from the aboriginal culture of Australia.

Raphael Perret, an artist based in Zürich, Switzerland, will train youngsters on how to recycle electronic waste to create art. Raphael, who has worked in the field of electronic arts for more than 10 years, had conducted an exhibition in Bangalore in 2014 to raise awareness about the hazardous effects of e-waste recycling done in unregulated conditions.

"We are in the process of finalising more artists from fields of dance and music. We have also invited a number of school and college students to get a flavour of international art forms," said Masako.

A workshop by an international professional photographer is also on the list. Takayasu Hattori from Japan will conduct an interactive session with young shutterbugs.

"Exchange of knowledge is quite necessary in our field. I am definitely going to take part in the workshop to know more about the global trends," said city-based photographer Sunnil Kalinndi.

This is the second edition of the festival. In 2013, around 45 culture personalities showcased their art forms in the city. Some of the highlights included choreographer-cum-dancers Kulli Roosna from Estonia and Kenneth Flak from Norway who conducted workshops, Japanese drummers who played Bachiatari and Yukio Suzuki who performed Butoh.