Konarak Dance Festival

By Arabinda Mahapatra [email protected] | 2015

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Thanks to a Puri based friend was introduced to photographer Arabinda Mahapatra who shares these lovely pics of the Konarak Dance Festival 2015 with us. Artists with the background of the Sun Temple in backdrop. Inspite of being damaged with time Sun Temple Konarak is amongst of India''s most amazing temples. In its hey days was probably as grand as the Brihadesvara Temple at Thanjavur Tamil Nadu or Martand Surya Mandir in Anantnag in J&K.

The festival is held from December 1-5 every year in the Open Air Auditorium at Konarak. The cultural evening commenced with the lighting of lamp by ministers and officials from the Odisha government. All captions by Editor. Do not understand dance as such, in case of errors please overlook or correct.

Captions tell you which dance is of which state and brief info from booklet published by State Tourism, all credits to them. Program started with the dancers of Srjan who presented the Vande Mataram as a tribute to Bharat Mata or Mother India.

Dancers learn under the guidance of Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra. Note bangles, clothing, head gear.

Next dance was Yugmadwanda Pallavi, a pure dance based on ''Rag Bageshree''.

Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra and students offer pranams to the crowd.

Next dance was Ardhanarishwara based on the composition of Adi Guru Sankaracharya described the iconography of the image - a fusion of Shiva and Shakti.

So graceful. Am only giving names of dances performed, does not mean that dance mentioned in caption is what you see.

Last item in Odissi was Viswas interplaying ''Guruwari'' and ''Dohas'' of Sant Kabir. First time seen Odissi dancers perform. So graceful, amazing. Tempted to visit Konarak in 2016.

U see the most important festival of Manipur called LAI HAROBA, has its origin in pre-Vaishnavite period. This is a rigidly observed ritual that begins towards the end of the year into the new year ie March-April. "Celebrated in honor of the sylvan deities known as Umang Lai, the festival represents the worship of traditional deities and ancestors. The principal performers are Maibas and Maibis (priests and priestesses) who re-enact the theme of the creation of the world.With the arrival of Vaishnavism in the 15th century A.D., new compositions based on episodes from the life of Radha and Krishna were gradually introduced."

VASANTA RAAS. Lower dress worn ladies is POTLOI, made of carbon paper covered with saturn cloth and hand embroidery. It is worn by Meithi brides during wedding. "This is one of the most beautiful Raas Leelas, is celebrated on Chaitra Purnima, the full moon night in the month of Chaitra. (April - May). The dance depicts the eternal love of Radha and Krishna. The richness of the costumes worn by the performers adds grandeur to this dance. It ends with an ''Aarti'', a ceremonial worship of the Holy Union." This dance depicts the yearning of the Gopis for communion with their beloved Shri Krishna. In this raas Shri Krishna goes to the appointed grove (Kunja). The gopis led by Radha respond to the call of His magical flute. Together they play Holi. Finally there is union-Milan-Sambhoga.

Look at the eyes, the movement so graceful. Had see this and many other wow Manipuri dances at Sangai Festival 2014. To see pics of festival Click here

With Surya Mandir as a backdrop. Artists from Manipur Dance Academy Imphal. To see pics of academy Click here

On day 2 was Sattriya Dance of Assam. It was introduced in last part of the 15th century by the great Vaishnava saint of Assam, Srimanta Sankardev. The dance got a new leash of life by Nrutyacharya Jatin Goswami.

The evening marked the finest choreography of Sri Goswami. In Sattriya, pure dance form ''Chali Nrutya'' in ''Lasya'' was presented flowed by Chand Leela, a new creation in Sattriya dance woven in various Sattriya Taalas.

The dance was indicative of Sri Krishna''s ''Leela'' with ''Gopis''. The dance tradition got culminated with the serene and scintillating presentation of Bhakti Bhavana based on ''Nabadha Bhakti'' of Srimad Bhagavat.

Sattriya dance. So graceful. Love the light and colorful fabric.

Day 3 witnessed delineation of characters from Indian scriptures in Odissi and Kuchipudi style. U see Kuchipudi presented by Vijayasanthi Kashi and troupe of Shambhavi Dance ensemble from Bangalore.

Loved this pic. To see Kuchipudi dance by famous Reddy sisters at Elephanta Festival Click here

The story of two women who have glorified the history of India got lively projected in Kuchipudi.

The story of Kanyakumari, the slayer of the demon, Banasura and the story of Rudramma Devi, the ruler of the Kakatiya dynasty depicting her prowess got narrated in Kuchipudi tradition.

Graceful - Kuchipudi dance.

Seems ladies hearing a story going by the look on their faces.

Expressing thanks for the audience.

Day 4 was Bharatanatyam.

Loved this pic. To know about Bharatanatyam Click here

So graceful are these Bharatanatyam dancers.

Bharatanatyam.

In backdrop of Sun Temple. To see pics of temple Click here

Lovely pic.

Can only admire these artistes.

Prakruti Purusa, Khamaj Pallavi and Krishna Saranam got lively presented marking the evolution of Odissi as a typical classical dance form. To briefly know about Odissi Dance Click here

Odissi dance. Introduction to Odissi Dance Click here

Odissi dance.

Odissi dance. One requires to be really fit to dance the way these artistes do. To see pics of the amazing THRISSUR POORAM Click here

Last dance was Kathak performed by Guru Rajashree Shirke from Lasya Akademi Dance Repertory Mumbai who received thundering applause from viewers. To see pics of Ladakh Festival Click here

The dance in Kathak commenced with Surya Upasana, an obeisance to the Sun Devata followed by ''Panchamahabhoot'', the majestic five elements that surround us. To see pics of Pandharpur Wari Click here

The dancers exhibited how the elements eternally constitute the human body. To see pics of Hola Mohalla festival Punjab Click here

The final item in Kathak style was ''Anandam Krishna'' a mesmerizing panorama of traditional songs of the Kathak forte. To see pics of Khajuraho Dance Festival Click here

And so ended five days of bliss - dance and at the Sand Art Festival at Chandrabhagha beach. To see pics of festival Click here