The Konark Festival 2018, jointly organised by Odisha Tourism and Odissi Research Centre, came to a close today, with performances demonstrating the technical foundations of classical dancing.
Gracing the occasion was Hon’ble Governor of Odisha, Professor Ganeshi Lal. After ceremonially lighting the lamp in presence of Shri. Vishal Kr. Dev, Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, Prof. Lal succinctly analogised the vibrant atmosphere of the festival with the grand Sun Temple in the backdrop – as one of deeply spiritual energies.
The first ensemble in Kathak was mentored by established danseuse Kumudini Lakhia from Ahmedabad, and led by her senior disciple Sanjukta Sinha – beginning with an ode to Goddess Durga. This was followed by a reverberating demonstration of Tatkaar – the skill of footwork in Kathak, accompanied by recitals in TaalDhamaar.
Bhakti movement saint Meerabai’s Krishna Bhajans constituted the vocals for the succeeding performance. The word Kathak has been derived from the word Katha which means a story. Kathakars or story-tellers, are people who narrate stories largely based on episodes from the epics, myths and legends.
The second set of presentations – in Odissi, by a troupe mentored and choreographed by Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, world renowned Odissi Guru Smt. Ranjana Gauhar, from New Delhi. The performance began with the depiction of the mythological tale of Lord Vishnu’s first among the Dashavatar, the Matsyavatar (fish) – to retrieve the Vedas from demon Hayagriva.
The Konark Festival has, over its thirty editions, attained global fanfare, with ardent enthusiasts and observers travelling from far off corners of the globe, including Europe and the Americas, to witness the spectacle. The concluding performances have left the audience in anticipation of next year’s event.