Sunday, 16 December 2018

Dance sonnets to the sun god at Konark - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Standing in isolated grandeur is Odisha's Konark temple, a stone paean to the Sun God, its tower despite centuries of sea winds chipping away layers from the glorious surasundaris sculpted on its walls, raising a silent toast to the artistic genius of India's ancient sculptors. Konark is more than just a temple monument. Over the years, its image has become the identity of Odisha. This normally quiet township, beckoning tourists with its temple site and unspoilt beaches, turns into an activity hub during the week long annual dance festival mounted by the Odisha Tourism Department in association with the OTDC and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, supported by Utkal University of Culture and the Kelucharan Sangeet Research Centre BBSR. 

The open air theatre, with galleried seating, with a massive stage on two tiers, with the top of the magnificent temple tower as backdrop a short distance away, is perhaps one of the most glorious performance spaces in India for dance groups. 

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