Bhubaneswar: The open air auditorium against the backdrop of Konark Sun Temple reverberated with the rhythms of Indian classical music as the Konark Festival is began on Saturday.
The opening performance of the festival was by renowned Odissi Guru Durga Charan Ranbir and group. Odissi as a classical dance form, while largely performed by danseuses, as per Guru Ranbir, also comprises the Tandava aspect, including items such as Sabda Swara Pata and Sthayee have been specially choreographed keeping the male torso in view.
Odissi by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir and Group
The second dance performance in Bharatanatyam, was led by leading exponent Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan. Being a predominantly solo dance, Bharatnatyam leans heavily on the abhinaya or mime aspect of dance – the nritya, where the dancer expresses the sahitya through movement and mime. Shabdam follows the jatiswaram in a Bharatnatyam dance performance. The accompanying song is generally in adoration of the Supreme Being. After the shabdam, the dancer performs the varnam. The varnam which is the most important composition of the Bharatnatyam repertoire, encompasses both nritta and nritya and epitomises the essence of this classical dance form.
Bharatanatyam, by leading exponent Smt. Rama Vaidyanathan and group
The second day of the festival witnessed performances of Kathak by accomplished danseuse Smt. Yasmin Singh and group, and of Odissi by exponent Smt. Sharmila Biswas and group.
Kathak by danseuse Smt. Yasmin Singh and Group
Odissi Dance by Sharmila Biswas & Group, Kolkata
The third day of the festival witnessed a presentation in Odissi by a troupe from Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar. The dance drama Leela Madhuri enacted by Odissi Research Centre depicted love and courtship between Radha and Krishna and the choreography was based on Kabisurya Baladev Rath’s poetic treatise, “Kishora Chandrananda Champoo” a unique text starting with Odia alphabets.
This was followed by a captivating performance by accomplished Kuchipudi artiste Ms. Shree Laxmi Govardhanan, who hails from Thrissur, Kerala, and is a disciple of Guru Sri Pasumarthy Rattaiaha Sarma. Shree Laxmi came up with an invocatory item with prayers to Lord Bighnaraja, Hanuman and Srikrishna.
The next item was Soorpanakha, the life and plight of Soorpanakha with anger and frustration got emotionally depicted. She revolted within for being inhumanly punished by Sri Ram and Laxman.
Kuchipudi witnessed Thillana as the concluding choreography bearing the creative touch of Shree Laxmi and music composition by Dr. M. Balmuralikrishna.
The eighth edition of the International Sand Art Festival on the Chandrabhaga beach was also hosted simultaneously with the Konark Festival.
With sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik as the brand ambassador and chief curator, each day of the festival has a particular theme. Carrying on from the excitement of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, this year’s themes include Sports apart from Heritage, Environment, Women Empowerment and Cultural Fairs and Festivals.
The event of 2017 witnessed 59 artists from across India and an artist each from Mexico, Russia, Germany, Spain, Canada, Ghana, Sri Lanka & Singapore displaying their sand art across five days.
Another highlight of the festival is the crafts mela held near to the Chandrabhaga. At the Mela, beautiful sculptures and souvenirs made by the expert craftsmen of the region are displayed and are sold.
The event spans the entire day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.