Bhubaneswar: The 8th annual international Odishi dance festival which will be held from December 18 to 23 at the Bhanja Kala Mandap here would feature nearly 300 Odishi dancers and delegates from 16 countries.
The event is being hosted by 28 years’ old cultural organization Samskritiki in collaboration with various Odishi dance institutes of the world.
The objective of the festival is to unite the ever growing global Odishi family 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 Odishi, explained the hosts.
The countries being represented in event include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Malayasia, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and USA apart from India. The largest contingent of dancers is coming from the USA this year, they informed.
The festival will feature performances by several internationally acclaimed dancers like Padma Sri Aruna Mohanty and Sujata Mohapatra apart from senior exponents like Sikata Das from Odisha, Ratna Roy and Vishnu Tattwa Das from USA. It will further feature three Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Prativa Puraskar Award winners of the Central Government who are internationally known young and acclaimed dancers like Madhusmita Mohanty, Lingaraj Pradhan and Rajashree Praharaj. Similarly, several well-known dance troupes like Odisha Dance Academy and Rudrakshya Foundation from Bhubaneswar, Urvasi Odissi Ensemble from USA, Nrityantar Academy from Bengaluru, Kalpodip from North Bengal, i-Gurukul from USA will present group performances, it was learnt.
Kolkata-based eminent Odishi exponent Guru Poushali Mukherjee will be honoured with the Odishi International Lifetime Achievement Award during the festival for her pioneering contribution to Odishi.