Bhubaneswar: The five-day International Odissi Dance Festival, organised by Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra (GKCM) Odissi Research Centre in collaboration with the State tourism and culture departments, kicked off at Rabindra Mandap, here on Thursday.

Over 400 dancers from across the country and abroad are participating in the Festival.

The inaugural evening opened with the solo performance of eminent Odissi exponent Padmashri Aruna Mohanty – Abhinaya Sansara based on Raag Kalabati in Ek Taali. The performance was choreographed by Aruna herself. Guru Bijaya Kumar Jena had composed the music.

The next performance of the evening was by Mamata Satapathy who presented Abhinaya based on Bidagdha Kabi Chintamani’s poetry Dheera Ghena Kananare…… Later, Delhi-based Odissi dancer Rahul Versene presented pure dance Bada Sthai in Ek Taali. The choreography was by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir.

Then, Suraj Subhramanyam and January Lo performed a duet -Sthai Nrutya- based on Raag Shankara Vharana in Ek Taali.

The next performance was by US-based dancer Kakali Paramaguru who presented Gandharira Ashirbada on Raag Malika. Choreographed by Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, it was supported by music composer Guru Ramahari Das and rhythm player Guru Dhaneswar Swain.

Shreya Aamachi from Japan performed Pallavi on Raag Bageshree. The item was choreographed by Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra and music was by Padmashri Late Raghunath Panigrahi.

Later, Odissi duet was presented by Anayana Deb and Isha Chhabi while Shravani Sen and Sanjit Kumar Pradhan performed solo.

The closing performance of the opening evening was a group dance by the artistes of Indore based Chhandak Kala Academy.