'Konark' in Orissa is popularly known for its world famous 'Sun Temple' & also for the annual 'International Konark Dance & Music festival'. Since last 21 years, Konark Natya Mandap is celebrating this festival which embraces both dance & music artistes from around the globe.
With carvings of beautiful dance sculptures, the hugh open air stage, is all set for this year's much awaited 22nd edition of the said festival. Surrounded by countless trees, pollution free air and an overall congenial environment, the venue seems just perfect for experiencing Divine pleasure.
The director of the festival is Shri Gangadhar Pradhan who is himself an eminent Odissi Guru. Orissa dance academy (Bhubaneswar), Konark Natya Mandap (Konark) and Orissa tourism are the festival organizers and the event is supported by BSNL, KIIT, TATA Steel ltd, State bank of India & Vedanta alumina ltd.
The festival will commence on 19th February 2007 and will continue for three days. Along with presentations of dance and music, the festival will also have a 'Sahitya Utsav'.
The first day of the festival will begin with a Panchadeva Stutee & Konark Kantee which will be presented by Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar. This will be followed by a Flute recital by Jabahar Mishra, Cuttack. Ms. Sibani Patnaik from USA will present Odissi dance which will be followed by a Kathak dance performance by Ms. Nalini & Kamilini from New-Delhi & then would be a Mayurbhanj Chhau dance presentation by the Mayurbhanj Chhau Dance Project, Baripad - (Sponsored by,Central Sangeet Natak Akademi)
The second day will start with an Odissi vocal by Mahapatra Minati Bhanja, Bhubaneswar with Mardal accompaniment by Guru Jagannath Kuanr. Next will be an Odissi dance performance by Ms. Dipti Abhilasha from Switzerland & Ms. Dipti Mishra, Bhubaneswar. Then a Bharatnatyam dance performance will follow which will be given by Ms. Prakruti Bhaskar & troupe from Mumbai. Next would be a Group Odissi dance performance by the Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar which will be followed by a Bihu dance performance - (Sponsored by E.Z.C.C, Kolkata)
The third day of the festival will showcase a Gotipua dance by Konark Natya Mandap, Arka Vihar, Konark, Kuchipudi dance by Ms. G. Sandhyarani & Mr. Siva Chandra, Hyderabad, Group Odissi dance by Ms. Aloka Kanungo, Kolkata, Sambal Puri dance Presented & Sponsored by Gunjan Dance Academy, Cuttack & a Bihu dance performance (Sponsored by E.Z.C.C, Kolkata).
Further details can be had from the festival site: www.konarknatyamandap.org
Odissi & Bharatanatyam artiste Manasi Pandya is also a freelance journalist from Baroda, India