The Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav brings martial arts and classical dance types on the identical platform

The Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav brings martial arts and classical dance types on the identical platform

The pristine white Peace Pagoda (Shanthi Stupa), atop the historic Dhauli hills, close to Bhubaneswar, serves as a befitting backdrop for the 18th Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav. Launched in 2003 as two separate festivals, they have been merged in 2013 to be performed as a three-day occasion to have a good time peace and concord by music and dance.

The open-air stage at Shanti Vihar, at the foothills of Dhauli, is surrounded by sprawling paddy fields and plush inexperienced bushes alongside the banks of river Daya. The in any other case calm place, comes alive throughout the competition, with vacationers from throughout the globe and artwork lovers from close by villages and cities thronging the venue.

Organised collectively by Odisha Tourism Development Corporation and Orissa Dance Academy, the competition has been carrying ahead founder and legendary Odissi guru Gangadhar Pradhan’s imaginative and prescient of bringing collectively heritage and artwork. The 36-year-old Konark Dance and Music Festival can be his brainchild. Guru Gangadhar was eager to take dance and music again to the place they belonged — historical monuments.

From the Dhauli-Kalinga Festival, 2022

From the Dhauli-Kalinga Festival, 2022
| Photo Credit: Odisha Tourism

Son of a poor farmer, at the age of 5, he was provided to a village temple to function a Gotipua dancer for 10 years. His ardour and onerous work made him one of the most sought-after gurus. At the age of 25, he began the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneshwar. Five years later, he established the Konark Natya Mandap, close to the Sun Temple, the place, in 1986, he started internet hosting the annual Konark Dance and Music Festival. It prompted the Odisha authorities to launch its personal Konark dance competition three years later.

From the Dhauli-Kalinga Festival, 2022

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From the Dhauli-Kalinga Festival, 2022
| Photo Credit: Odisha Tourism

Why Dhauli?

After establishing the Orissa Dance Academy as one of the world’s greatest Odissi dance establishments, and Konark Natya Mandap as a novel establishment that trains artistes in Gotipua, Odissi and a number of other indigenous and marginalised artwork types in gurukul system, he turned his consideration in the direction of Dhauli.

It is presumed that the Kalinga battle was fought right here. Emperor Ashoka, who gained the battle, embraced Buddhism after witnessing loss of life and destruction. Guru Gangadhar was eager to arrange a gurukul and launch a competition at this very web site to advertise Odisha’s wealthy artwork traditions. He invested all his earnings and even borrowed some cash to accumulate land at the foothills of Dhauli to arrange Shanti Vihar, the place, as soon as upon a time, peace gained over battle.

Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.

Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Along with the Indian classical dance traditions, Gangadhar determined to venture Odisha’s vibrant, however marginalised, artwork types corresponding to Gotipua, Mayurbhanj Chhau, Sambalpuri dance, Danda Nata, Prahallad Natak, Mogul Tamasha, Ghoda Nacha, Dhuduki Nacha, puppetry, Odia jatra, Geetinatya, Pala, Daskathia, and Sankeertan. As a consequence, the competition emerged as a deal with for each connoisseurs and customary individuals.

While guru Gangadhar was internet hosting his Dhauli competition, the Kalinga National Martial Dance Festival, conceptualised by Bhubaneswar-based Italian Odissi and Chhau exponent Ileana Citaristi, was being staged atop the hill at the Peace Pagoda. In 2013, Department of Tourism, Odisha, merged the two widespread occasions and renamed it as Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav.

Reaching new heights

lleana Citaristi

lleana Citaristi
| Photo Credit: Siva Saravanan

After the premature demise of Guru Gangadhar in 2010, and the merger of the two festivals three years later, his prime disciple and Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty took over as the competition director. As curators, Aruna and Ileana have taken the competition to newer heights with the inclusion of modern and experimental artwork types. Over the years, other than a number of Indian martial artwork types corresponding to Kalaripayattu, Thang Ta, Paika Akhada, and Malkhamb, these of Japan and South East Asia have additionally been featured. Innovative productions like ‘Bibiddha Barna’ (seven folks artwork types of Odisha), and ‘Charishnu’ (seven Indian classical dance kinds), and instrumental ensembles have widened the competition’s repertoire.

While Guru Gangadhar concerned individuals from close by villages in the competition, Aruna has been bringing in faculty college students to look at the performances and perceive the significance of artwork and heritage. The Department of Tourism provides particular bundle excursions to extend footfalls throughout the competition.

Aruna Mohanty

Aruna Mohanty
| Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Raut

Visionary Gangadhar has impressed the authorities and the individuals of the state to give you extra such festivals at historical temples and monuments, together with Konark dance competition, Mukteswar dance competition, Rajarani music competition, Kharavela competition at Khandagiri Jain caves, and Chausathi Yogini competition at Hirapur shrine. Odisha tops the desk in India in relation to festivals that commemorate tradition and heritage.

“Tomorrow, when I’m gone, there can be many extra Gangadhars to advertise and protect Odisha’s arts throughout the seven seas. I’ll then shed tears of pleasure from above, remaining indebted to Lord Jagannath for giving me the braveness to dream,” the legendary artiste had as soon as mentioned.

The Bhubaneshwar-based author is an unbiased journalist.

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