The Konark festival delights classical dance lovers

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Odisha Canal Office
Konark: Konark Festival-2021, the five-day Indian classical dance performance was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik in Konark on December 1.

The inaugural show saw the performance of Odissi by Madhavi Mudgal & Group led by Odissi exponent Madhavi Mudgal from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi.

The performances featured Odissi dance recitals on Nartan Ganesh, Pallavi, Abhinaya and Trayi. This was followed by a Kathak performance by Vaswati Mishra and Lucknow Gharana’s ‘Dhwani’ group of Kathak.

Held annually from December 1-5 since 1986 at the open-air auditorium with the iconic Konark Sun Temple as a backdrop, the Konark Festival serves as a platform for the country’s renowned classical dancers to showcase the cultural depth of India through various dance forms including Odissi, Kathak, Satriya, Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi among others.

On the other hand, nearby pristine Chandrabhaga Beach has seen renowned sand artists compete to sculpt unique creations at the 2021 International Sand Art Festival.

Both festivals are held in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols with measures taken for effective crowd control, including reducing seating capacity to one-third at Konark Festival.

LED screens have been installed in Konark, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for live projection of the dance festival besides broadcasting it live on DD Bharati, DD Odia and Odisha Tourism social media with the aim of reach a wider audience.

This year, 100 artists including artists from Odisha and nine other Indian states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu , participate in the Sand Art Festival.

The second day of the Konark festival witnessed an exquisite dance form of Assam – Sattriya followed by Odissi.

The remaining three days of the two festivals have been canceled due to the imminent threat of cyclonic storm “Jawad”.

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