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2nd day of Pragjyoti International Dance Festival showcases myriad colours of Indian classical dance

After two days of performance at Shraddhanjali Kanan PIDF will now move to Tezpur to sing the glory of Mahabhairav Temple

March 08, 2015; Guwahati: Witnessing a kaleidoscope of artists from different parts of India, the viewers of Guwahati were left enthralled with fascinating classical performances that created a harmonious milieu at Shraddhanjali Kanan on the second day of the 7th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival. Today’s performances included a Manipuri performance by Warda Rihab from Bangladesh, Odissi by Sashwati Garai Ghosh from Kolkata, Sattriya by Manashri Dihingiya from Guwahati, Kathak by Shubhi Johari and Amit Khinchi from Delhi and Kuchipudi by Padma Ragini Puttu and group from Russia.

Pragjyoti International Dance Festival (PIDF) is an annual classical dance extravaganza 0rganized by Kalpa, a society for promotion of literature, art, culture and social harmony, to exhibit the wide range of India’s classical dance forms together on one platform to sing in unison and to celebrate the rich heritage of Assam. The five-day classical dance extravaganza will be held in Guwahati and Tezpur from 7th to 11th March, 2015. The event is held in association with INTACH (India’s National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and Assam Tourism. The programme is co-sponsored by India Tourism, LIC, State Bank of India and Oil India Limited.

Addressing the audience on the occasion, Dr. Anwesa Mahanta, Sattriya danseuse and Festival Director of PIDF, said, “We are extremely thankful to all our enthusiasts for guiding and supporting our mission. PIDF is a festival of the people, carried forward over the years with their continued support and participation, and designed for highlighting the aspects of our vibrant culture and heritage. We want to use this festival as a platform to express our concern towards various issues of Assam and the north-eastern region.”

While one of the greatest achievements of PIDF has been to develop interest about classical art traditions and its relevance in contemporary period amidst the young generations, it has also maintained high standards by garnering the support and accolades of exponents of Indian dance at this annual dance fest.

Sashwati Garai Ghosh from Kolkata, who performed Odissi on the second day of Pragjyoti International Dance Festival, said, “It was my mom who chose Odissi for me to learn as, she admired the form. Being born in family of artists it was very natural for me to have interests in art. It was very natural for me to get inclined to anything creative. As a child, I always felt that I would become a sculptor or a painter like my parents, though ‘dance’ was a constant companion. With time, Odissi became an inseparable part of my life. I truly felt and realized that I want to know more about this form of art. With blessings from my parents, my dream to become a performer prompted me to pursue dance as a subject to study.

I thank ‘Kalpa’ for taking the initiative to organize such a beautiful dance festival, and bringing along dancers from across the globe. I am happy to be a part of it this year. My best wishes to them for their future endeavours”, she adds.

Padma Ragini Puttu artistic director of TAPASYA, has been training Russian students in the field of Kuchipudi, one of the beautiful classical dance forms of India. Tapasya engages in intensive training, conducting yearly concerts and bringing upcoming talented Russain artists to India to participate in various prestigious festivals every year.

Warda Rihab is a renowned Manipuri young exponent who has been promoting the art form in Banglades . Known for her scintillating performances, she was introduced into the world of dance and music at a very tender age. She got her initial training in Manipuri dance from the well known Bangladeshi dancer and choreographer, Smt. Sharmila Banerjee and Tamanna Rahman and Belayet Hossain Khan at Chhayanaut which is one of the most prestigious cultural organizations of Bangladesh. Later she underwent advanced and special training from the renowned exponent of Manipuri dance, Guru Kalavati Devi who was appointed as the Manipuri dance guru at the cultural centre of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

Shubhi Johari from Delhi, who performed Kathak with her partner and Amit Khinchi, said, “Our performance is a SAMANTaA, which is an amalgamation of two gharanas of Kathak, namely Lucknow and Jaipur. Samantaa aims to bring the beauty and andaaz from Lucknow and speed and taiyyari from the Jaipur gharana. It comes out to be a perfect blend of both the aspects of Kathak which gives completeness to the dance form. Our first performance is an invocation on Shiva, which has been adapted an rearranged by my partner Amit Khinchi. The second performance is a Sargam in Raag Bhageshri and we will conclude with a Tarana in Raag Darbari composed by Amit.”

Trained under the torch bearer of Kalka Bindadin Gharana of Kathak, Pt. Jaikishan Maharaj ji, Shubhi Johari has made heads turn with her swift rise in the art of performing. Amit Khinchi is an alumnus of Kathak Kendra and has been trained rigorously by Pt. Rajendra Gangani and has been taking forward his family legacy since the past 10 years.

Joint Secretary of Kalpa and Festival Director of PIDF, Sattriya danseuse Dr. Anwesa Mahanta says, “Dance has always inspired and connected me to the surrounding both physically and spiritually. It has enabled me to understand the life force and the vital energy behind each existence. With PIDF, showcasing the richness of Indian Dance Traditions by the brightest young stars, we are trying to share that vital energetic force to understand ourselves, our cultural heritage in a better way. Also, to explore the aesthetic synergy of the heritage sites, we offer our respect to these glorious sites through dance and celebrate the divine bond of the tangible and the intangible.”

Since the sixth edition, the Festival has moved beyond the Guwahati and has explored various heritage sites of Assam. This year, Kalpa takes on the responsibility of reaching out to the world and sharing the glory of Assam and its history with the kinetics of Indian Dance Traditions. After Guwahati, the 7th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival will move to the mythical city of Tezpur where Kalpa will offer a tribute to the historical significance of the Mahabhairav Temple on 9th and 10th March, 2015. Through the dance movements and unique expression of a dancer’s language of the mind perceiving the world and its cosmos, the PIDF will communicate the gloried past of the Assam and its momentous contribution towards Indian history.

Manipuri performance by Warda Rihab from Bangladesh at 7th PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL GHY 1

Manipuri performance by Warda Rihab from Bangladesh at 7th PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL , GUWAHATI

Odissi by Sashwati Garai Ghosh from Kolkata at 7th PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL GHY 3

Odissi by Sashwati Garai Ghosh from Kolkata

Sattriya by Manashri Dihingiya from Guwahati at 7th PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL GHY 4

Sattriya by Manashri Dihingiya from Guwahati

Shubhi Johari and Amit Khinchi from at 7th PRAGJYOTI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL GHY 5


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