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  • Opening day of 6th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival leaves Guwahati enthralled

    Published on February 16, 2014

    Guwahati: Melodious Gayan Bayan, intangible traversed Bharatnatyam, the fascinating expressions of Kathak and beautiful dancers from Italy and Russia performing Odissi enthralled the classical dance enthusiasts here today at the state’s biggest ‘Pragjyoti International Dance Festival’. Casing a kaleidoscope of the world famous Odissi by Sanatani Rombola and Elena Knyazeva from Italy and Russia at 6TH PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL GHY 04artists left the viewers of Guwahati spell bound with their alluring performance.

    The 6th edition of the biggest-ever classical dance extravaganza organized by the Kalpa, a Society for Promotion of Literature, Art, Culture and Social Harmony; is an initiative of using dance as a medium towards revisiting the heritage of Assam and protecting the bounties of nature conferred upon the region. Swapnanil Baruah IAS, Commissioner and Secretary, Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam inaugurated the festival by lighting up the ceremonial lamp today. The event is an annual feature by Kalpa society held in association with the Sivasagar District Administration, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) (Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India), Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited, Directorate of Cultural Affairs (Govt. of Assam) and Sub-Divisional Office- Bokakhat. The festival is powered by ERD Foundation.

    Sattriya danseuse Anwesa Mahanta, Joint Secretary of Kalpa & Festival Director of PIDF says, “We are extremely happy and besieged with the awe-inspiring response of the audience. The ‘Pragjyoti International Dance Festival’ this year has become the center of attraction for all the classical dance and music lovers of Assam. I am delighted to see the large number of footfalls on the first day itself. PIDF is a festival of the people, carried forward over the years with their continued support and participation, and designed for highlighting the aspects of our vibrant culture and heritage. We want to use this festival as a platform to express our concern towards various issues of Assam and the north-eastern region.”

    After performing Odissi in the 6th Pragjyoti International Dance festival, Italian dancer Sanatani Rombola said,“Indian dance forms have a spiritual side that has attracted me ever since I was a child. Classical dance has a deeper meaning and evokes a very strong spiritual connection, whereas in western dance forms it mostly depends on physical expression and appeal. Through my performance at PIDF, I want to take the Odissi Jagannath culture to the people of this beautiful land and contribute to this festival’s motto of making people understand the beauty and richness of the Indian classical dance.”

    “Being a part of the Pragjyoti International Dance Festival is a very important opportunity for me to take the dance form I represent to the people of Assam. Assam has its own very beautiful classical dance- the Sattriya, and yet we see more and more youngsters attracted towards the western dance forms. Indian classical dances are full of rich, beautiful movements, drama and beautiful expressions, which cannot be complete without a very strong spiritual connection. It is the classical dance that takes me into a complete trance where I feel that spiritual connection… I feel myself closer to God”, adds her contemporary partner Elena Knyazeva from Russia.

    Other highlights of the day were a delightful Gayan Bayan by performers of Majuli’s Bhogpur Sattra, an enchanting Bharatanatyam performance by Renjith Babu and Vijna Vasudevan from Chennai and a mesmerizing Kathak performance by the disciples of Kathak guru Marami Medhi from Guwahati.

     

    “I am extremely honored to inaugurate the festival which is a tribute to the age old harmony among nature, land and people and their cultures. The festival is a genuine attempt to offer a kinesthetic experience in revisiting land and nature, history, heritage, art and culture and I congratulate Kalpa for making this effort”, said Swapnanil Baruah IAS, Commissioner and Secretary, Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam.

    Prior to the event, the artists had an interactive session namely ‘Voices’ this morning with the students of Delhi Public School with an aim to promote classical dance amongst the youngsters and encourage them to take up Indian classical dance.

    Post the session, Chandralekha Rawat, Principal, DPS Guwahati said, “We are glad to learn that the Pragjyoti International Dance Festival under the aegis of Kalpa is making a conscious effort to promote literature, art and culture in this region. The Voices session and interaction of different dancers and specialists with the students of our school today has been very enriching. It has enabled the students to develop an interest in classical art and connect with contemporary issues.  It is a matter of pride that Kalpa is celebrating the diversity of India’s North East through the expressive language of dance and intensely engaging the younger generation. I wish the festival the very best in their endeavour.”

    Conceptualized to exhibit the wide range of India’s classical dance forms together on one platform to sing in unison and to celebrate the rich heritage of Assam, the six-day classical dance extravaganza will be held at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati, Convention Hall at Kaziranga and Siva Dol at Sivasagar between 15th-20th February, 2014.

    “Our dance festival is an attempt to promote the intangible heritage of classical arts among the younger generation.  Dance is an interdisciplinary area that requires a holistic appraisal of literature, philosophy, history, science, music, painting, sculpture, yoga, spirituality, religion, art and so on. Pragjyoti International Dance Festival, now in its sixth year, is one such attempt to showcase Indian classical dance with its holistic understanding of time, space and sound and the interpretations of human mind and body to the context of Assamese heritage, history and its nature”, says Anwesa.

    Source : Vikash Singh

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