BHUBANESWAR: With the famous arch of the Mukteswar temple forming its backdrop, the annual Mukteswar dance festival began here on Saturday. The sprawling green lawns in between the Mukteswar and Parsurameswar temple complexes are host to the three-day cultural event.
The festival is being organised by the Department of Tourism as part of Ekamra Utsav that is aimed at promoting Bhubaneswar as a major cultural tourism getaway. The festival features solo, duet and group presentations.
The inaugural evening showcased solo recital by Odissi danseuse Aloka Kanugo and duet by Pravat Kumar Swain and Arupa Gayatri Panda.
The group show was ‘Manabhanjana’, based on the relationship between Lord Krishna and Radha, presented by artistes of the Bhubaneswar-based Art Vision. It was choreographed by Illeana Citaristi.
The evening opened with a beautiful obeisance to Lord Shiva by vocal rendering of Shiva Bandana - ‘Namami Sami Sanaha Nirvana Rupam’ - by students of Utkal Sangeeta Mahavidyalaya.
Among others, MP Naresh Gujural, president of Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Sarat Pujari, eminent singer and musician Prafulla Kar, art critic Sunil Kothari, Secretary of Tourism and Culture Department Ashok K Tripathy and Municipal Commissioner Vishal Dev were present.
The second evening will commence with brilliant male dancer Rahul Acharya giving a solo performance. It will be followed by a performance by Chittaranjan Acharya and Asmita Kar Mohapatra and conclude with group show by city-based Rudrakshya.
Madhusmita Mohanty would perform as a soloist on the concluding evening while the Canada-based brother-sister duo would follow with duet. Jyoti Srivastav and troupe of Vaishali Kala Kendra, UP, would give a group presentation.