Panel discussion on ‘Folk dances of Odisha – problems & preservation’

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Bhubaneswar: Historically speaking, dance is one of the first human activities not directly serving mere survival. Starting with instinctive movements, as a reaction to physical or psychic situations, via the first shaped and repeated rhythmic movements, men started to experience dance as a possible means of expression of individual and collective feelings and as an instrument which could influence the natural forces. With time the dance has been seen as an art and considered an integral part of our culture worldwide. In particular, the state of Odisha is as rich in dance forms as it is in natural resources. As many as Odisha is home to 19 types of dance forms such as – Odissi, Gotipua,Mahari, Chaiti Ghodanacha, Bagha Nacha, Chhau, Dhemsha, Sambalpuri, Ghumura, Dhanda Nacha, Koya, Paika Nacha, Naga Nacha, Ranapa, Jodi Shankha, Karama Nacha, Chadheya Chadheyani, Gouda Nacha, Gadaba dance. But with the changing time, the colour of folk dance forms is fading gradually.
In order to analyze the causes and the problems and derive certain suggestions on the preservation of Odisha’s folk dances, a panel discussion on ‘Folk dances of Odisha – problems & preservation’ has been held on 22nd November, 2018 at Utkal Rangamancha, Odissi Research Centre, Jaydev Vihar, Bhubaneswar. The panel discussion has been led by four panelists – noted Odissi singer Smt. Sangeeta Gosain, renowned Odissi dancer Smt. Meera Das, popular Odissi soloist in the International arena Sri Rahul Acharya and research scholar Sri Rabi Ratan Sahu.
Smt Sangeeta Gosain enlightened audience about the origin of folk dance form and why folk dancers should be given importance and equal attention financially for keeping the tradition alive. Smt Meera Das gave emphasis on maintaining the purity of folk dance and suggested that attempt should be made to identify and document the all the dance forms intricately through audio visual medium. “Folk dance is the basis of the classical dance forms. We first need to educate ourselves what is folk and what is classical dance forms then we can stop its dilution”, said Sri Rahul Acharya. Sri Rabi Ratan Sahu who has done extensive research in the field informed audience about the inability of the true folk dancers to reach its audience at various programmes and festivals. He suggested efforts should be made to preserve and maintain every folk dance forms in appropriate and individual platforms. All the panelists answered queries and discussed the topic with audience. A general view originated from the discussion that attempts should be made at individual level to appreciate and endorse the folk dance forms and change our careless attitude towards our own culture and traditions.
The event was attended by students across art, music & dance institutes of Bhubaneswar. The event was organized by Abhinandan Communication – a production house in Bhubaneswar.

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