Odisha Tourism Minister inaugurates Konark Dance Festival and International Sand Art Festival

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Konark: The festivities in Konark, kicked off with the grand inauguration of thr International Sand Art Festival 2018 set against the pristine Chandrabagha beach as the backdrop. The theme of the International Sand Art Festival’s this year is around the ongoing Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 and the participating artists are bringing their interpretation of the same with their sculptures.
Meanwhile, the inaugural performances at the 30th Konark Festival, exhibited the best of India’s ancient cultural arts, with the opening performance 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.
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.
Prior to the performances, the inaugural began with the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony in the led by Hon’ble Minister Tourism and Odia Language, Literature & Culture, Shri. Ashok Chandra Panda. Shri. Panda aptly described the annual festival as the “after-dusk celebration of the grandeur of the Konark Temple, whose essence of interplay with the Sun God’s first rays is on full display at dawn.”
Director & Special Secretary Tourism, Smt. Archana Patnaik IAS highlighted the Department’s efforts to promote tourism throughout the year through a diverse calendar of events, including the ongoing Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 in Bhubaneswar, besides steadily upgrading tourist infrastructure at destinations, both established and relatively underexplored.
She added: “It is a beautiful coincidence of cultural and competitive events that makes the Bhubaneswar-Puri-Konark triangle among the most happening places to be at this moment. While hockey stars are competing there at Kalinga Stadium, Chandrabhaga Beach is witnessing an equally exciting competition of sand art. Please do visit the stalls at the International Sand Art Festival, upto 5th December, to cheer the artists.”
The second day at Konark Festival 2018 will witness performances of Kathak by accomplished danseuse Smt. Yasmin Singh and group, and of Odissi by exponent Smt. Sharmila Biswas and group.

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