Bhubaneswar: Featuring nearly 300 (three hundred) Odissi dancers and delegates from India and abroad, the 10th annual edition of Biswa Odissi Utsav (Odissi International dance festival) will be hosted in Bhubaneswar from December 23 to 25 at Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre. and Kolkata this month. The event is being hosted by Bhubaneswar-based Samskritiki cultural society in collaboration with various Odissi dance institutions of the world.
The objective of the festival is to unite the ever growing global Odissi family in the land of Odissi once every year and to encourage the dancers to discover the cultural roots of the dance tradition. It further aims at promoting cultural tourism and fostering friendship among people of different countries and cultures through this annual union and celebration in the Land of Odissi, explained festival founder-director Shyamhari Chakra.
While the festival has been happening in Bhubaneswar since its launch in 2010, it has already been extended as a multi-city event to Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and USA. Odissi dancers from 22 countries have already been presented by the festival in Bhubanreswar.
New Delhi-based noted Odissi exponent Guru Kumkum Lal will be honoured with the Odissi International Lifetime Achievement Honour this year for her pioneering contribution to Odissi. The previous recipients of the award have been Professor Ratna Roy (USA), Guru Durga Charan Ranbir (Odisha), Guru Poushali Mukherjee (Kolkata) and Guru Debi Basu (Mumbai).
Performances apart, the three-day festival this year in Bhubaneswar features a seminar on “Odissi Today: Diversity and Possibility”; a visit to the temples and heritage sites of Bhubaneswar for study of dance-sculptures and a workshop on make-up for Odissi dancers besides an exhibition of publications on Odissi dance.