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National festival of martial dances from February 4

Correspondent

The event will unfold atop the historic Dhauli hills

BHUBANESWAR: With the snow-white peace pagoda as its backdrop, the two-day 5th Kalinga Mahotsav, a unique national festival of martial dances, will unfold atop the historic Dhauli hills near here on February 4.

Being hosted by the Tourism Department in association with the city-based cultural outfit Art Vision, the festival is the brainchild of Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi, founder of the outfit.

"The objective is to harmonise the vigour of martial tradition with the sublimity of peace through the art of dance. It showcases the vibrant martial dance traditions of the nation. We have chosen Dhauli stupa, the Japanese Buddhist temple, as the ideal venue because this is the place where Emperor Ashok is believed to have fought the infamous Kalinga war before surrendering the sword and embracing Buddhism," explained Ms. Ileana, the Italian dancer who made Orissa her home nearly 27 years ago for her love for Odissi.

Significance

Dhauli signifies the victory of peace over war and violence and the present day violence and war-torn world needs to be reminded about it through such events, she added.

The inaugural evening will kick off with Kolkata-based Sapphire Creation's presentation of `Adyashakti', directed by Sudarshan Chakravorty.

The production uses elements of several Indian martial art traditions to explore the ritualistic culture of Shakti cult of worship.It will be followed by `Dhali' martial dance by Sharabhuji of West Midnapur region of West Bengal.

The evening will conclude with `Laudi Khel' by the Kalashrama troupe from Bideipur village of Bhadrak district of Orissa.

The troupe is led by the single-legged Odissi dancer Nityananda Das.

The concluding evening will have `Raibanscee' dance presentation by Sharabhuji troupe of West Bengal. This is the last surviving dance tradition of the 16th century Bengal, it was learnt.

Troupe from Andhra

Karumaji Appa Rao's troupe from Andhra Pradesh will present `Karra Samu' (stick play) and `Katti Samu' (sword play) the same evening, which are ancient martial art forms of that State.

The festival will conclude with the typical `Sahi Jatra' of Puri presented by Udayan Cultural Academy.

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