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BHUBANESWAR: The second edition of the annual Bharat Muni festival of Indian classical dances being hosted by the city-based cultural organisation Kalingayana Touryatrikam at Rabindra Mandap kicked off on Wednesday evening.
Inaugurating the two-day festival, Culture and Tourism Minister D.P.Mishra observed that Orissa’s rich culture and heritage has been attracting people from India and abroad and the State has emerged as a hub of cultural activities round the year. None of the Indian states has such a large number of annual cultural festivals as of Orissa, he stated and added that with a number of classical dance festivals happening here, the Capital City has grown up as a major centre of dance activities in the world. He further hailed the decision of the hosts to launch a festival and an award for classical dancers in the name of Bharat Muni, the creator of Natya Shashtra.
In his welcome note, Festival Committee chairperson and former Indian Ambassador Abasar Beuria informed that the festival launched last year would honour a pioneer of Indian classical dances every year with Bharat Muni Samman. While Kolkata-based Bharatnatyam exponent Thankamoni Kutty was conferred the honour last year, legendary Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj would be the recipient this year, he added.
The inaugural evening witnessed a scintillating performance by New Delhi based noted Odissi dancer and choreographer Kabita Dwibedi whose expressional dance was a piece of poetry in motion, literally. The other soloist of the evening was US-based brilliant Bharatnatyam dancer Janaki Rangarajan, disciple of legendary Padma Subramaniam. A pulsating presentation of an ensemble of percussion instruments by the artistes of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya was the concluding segment of the evening.
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