Tuesday, 18 June 2013

2nd edition of Samakala Festival - Dr Sunil Kothari

On 11th June 2013 the second edition of Samakala Festival was flagged off at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar, under the aegis of Odisha Tourism, and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Department of Culture, Govt. of Odisha. After receiving enthusiastic response from diverse audience last year, this year the organizers planned the festival inviting the leading lights of contemporary dance for three evenings, presenting two artistes each evening.

The very fact that the organizers and in particular, the initiative taken by the Principal Secretary,  Odisha Tourism, Mr. A.K. Tripathy, the dance, music and folk dance festivals including regional music of Western Odisha, Sankirtan Festival, Chhau dances, Gotipua dancers and the classical dance festivals, International Odissi Dance Festival,  Sand festival etc., Odisha  has become within a span of three years ‘a land of festivals.’ Odisha has won excellent awards for Tourism, and the dance festivals have indeed drawn tourists not only from abroad but also from within India. Not only that, a series of publications on arts of Odisha, with excellent photographs, eye catching lay-out, minute details to the printing, graphics and production have been brought out and have become collector’s items. The passion behind all these speaks volumes for Mr. A.K. Tripathy.

It is indeed very heartening to see that Contemporary dance has found a place in this series of festivals. Since East West Dance Encounter, which took place in January 1984 in Mumbai under the vision, guidance and sponsorship of Georg Lechner, the director of Max Mueller Bhavan, along with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and various other cultural agencies, within a span of thirty years Contemporary dance as a specific genre has come into its own. It would be also pertinent to mention that The Other Festival started by Anita Ratnam along with Ranvir Shah in Chennai also played a historical role, promoting Contemporary dance. 

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