Friday 8 November 2019

Rangayan Festival of Arts and Literature: A festival with a difference - Footloose and fancy free with Dr.Sunil Kothari

I am a great admirer of Sattriya dancer Sharodi Saikia. She has been organizing a multi-discipline festival of dance, music, paintings, poetry reading, lectures, literature, drawing competition, a freewheeling discussion, and get together of dancers, musicians, painters, literary figures. I know of no other dancer in Assam visualizing and arranging such a wide range of festival for three days.

I have been visiting Guwahati for past several years on various occasions for research, documentation, conferences, lectures, attending Nritya Parva since 2000 when Sattriya was declared as eighth classical dance and after few years, Sattriya Kendra started arranging annual festival featuring senior and up and coming dancers, and symposiums. Since I was conducting research on Sattriya dances, I visited Guwahati and also other major cities and Sattras on Majuli Island. Over the years, I started following Assamese language and of course made friends. Finally Marg Foundation published my book on Sattriya dances of Assam with photographs by Avinash Pasricha. I had started working on Sattriya dances from 1964 and by 2013 the book was released in Guwahati. It brought me considerable recognition and I was conferred the most prestigious Madhavdev award this year.

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