BHUBANESWAR: The five-day 27th annual Konark dance and music festival, hosted by late Odissi maestro Guru Gangadhar Pradhan’s Konark Natya Mandap, will be underway at the mandap’s open air theatre at Konark from February 19.
Festival coordinator and the late guru’s son Sibasis Pradhan said on Sunday that though the festival was being held for three days every year from February 19, his father had made it a five-day affair in 2010 to celebrate the silver jubilee of the festival. “We decided to continue the festival as a five-day event every year,” he said and added that the festival this year is dedicated to Guru Gangadhar.
Konark Natya Mandap has instituted an award in memory of its founder. It is conferred on a pioneering artiste every year, said Sibasis. The Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Award will be conferred on tabla maestro Zakir Hussain this year during the valedictory evening. It carries a cash prize of ` 1 lakh.
Several celebrated musicians are slated to perform in the festival this year. Besides Zakir, Hindustani violin exponent N Rajam, Hindustani vocalist Sumitra Guha, mridangam player Yella Venkateswar Rao and Odissi vocalist Damodar Hota will perform, while dance segment will feature group presentations of Odissi by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Foundation and Chitralekha Dance Creations, Bhangda by Mumbai-based Maujpunjabi Troupe and Gotipua by Konark Natya Mandap.
The festival will further feature solo performances in Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Kuchipudi. Special attractions this year will be the folk dance of Sri Lanka and Diya dance by artistes of Rama Natak Niketan, Andhra Pradesh.