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Odisha Tourism gears up for its grand festivals in Bhubaneswar

By Shyamhari Chakra

The Department of Tourism of Odisha Government – better known as Odisha Tourism – is gearing up for its two annual grand dance and music festivals in the state capital.

With the 10th century Mukteswar temple serving as its befitting backdrop, the three-day Mukteswar Odissi Dance Festival would be hosted during January 14 and 16, daily from 6 pm to 8.30 pm.

Puducherry-based Sangeeta Dash is scheduled to open the festival as a soloist followed by duet dancing by Lima Bhol and Arupa Gayatri Panda from the famed Odisha Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar and a group presentation by Parwati Dutta and her troupe from Aurangabad.

The second evening would feature Pallavi Das from the USA as a soloist followed by a duet by Suraj Sahu and Manoj Pradhan and group presentation by Guru Pankaj Charan Das Odissi Research Foundation – all from Bhubaneswar.

The third final evening of the festival would witness solo by Soumya Bose from Kolkata, duet by Sasmita Panda and Lopamudra Jena from Gunjan Dance Academy, Cuttack and group presentation by eminent exponent Kumkum Mohanty’s Gita Govinda troupe from Bhubaneswar.

Continuing with the tradition of commencing each evening with choral singing for Lord Shiva – Shiva Vandana – three popular musicians of Odisha would present their group recitals – Prafulla Kar, Bikash Shukla and Ramhari Das.

Close on the heels of the Mukteswar dance festival, the three-day Rajarani National Music Festival would be staged on the sprawling green lawns of Rajarani temple during December 18 and 20, daily between 6 pm to 8.30 pm. The only festival of its kind to be hosted by the State Government, it would feature Odissi, Hindustani and Carnatic music traditions.

While the inaugural evening would have Carnatic vocal recital by Sowmya Iyer from Chennai and Hindustani violin recital by Mumbai-based Kailash Patra, the second evening would have Odissi vocal by host Odisha’s Nazia Sayeed, winner of the prestigious Utsad Bismillakh Khan Yuva Prativa Puraskar of Government of India and santoor recital by the world renowned Pandit Bhajan Sopori. The final evening of the festival would feature Hindustani flutist Rajendra Prasanna and Hindustani vocalist Kaishiki Chakraborty from Kolkata.