SAMBALPUR: Sambalpuri, the popular folk dance of western Odisha, will be performed during the opening ceremony of Asian Athletics Championships beginning July 5 in Bhubaneswar. A 27-member dance troupe of Sambalpur Kala Parishad here left for Bhubaneswar on Sunday afternoon. The group comprises 10 female dancers, 15 instrumentalists, troupe leader Prafulla Kumar Hota and manager of Sambalpur Kala Parishad Saroj Kumar Dash. This apart, two Government officials are also accompanying the dance troupe. Hota said it is a matter of pride and honour for them as Sambalpuri folk dance has been selected to be performed at such a grand event.
However, the particular Sambalpuri dance form, which will be performed at the inaugural ceremony, is yet to be finalised. The troupe will start rehearsal once it is finalised. The dancers will get two days for rehearsal on July 3 and 4 before performing on stage, he said.
Hota said the members are already prepared for the popular Sambalpuri dance form ‘Dalkhai’. They could also be asked to perform during the rendition of popular Sambalpuri folk song ‘Rangabati’ which will be sung by eminent singer Shankar Mahadevan during the opening ceremony. Artiste Sudhashree Dehuri, who is a member of the troupe, said they are excited to perform at such a big event in which athletes from many Asian countries will participate.
Similar sentiment was echoed by another troupe member and instrumentalist Surya Prakash Guru who said they will give their best to enthral the audience. The artistes of Sambalpur Kala Parishad, which was established in 1956, have performed in Russia, Indonesia and Japan and mesmerised the audience with their performances.