Odisha showcases the best of folk music and dance

Bhubaneswar: Rain failed to dampen the spirits of artistes and audience alike at the ongoing Folk Dance and Music Festival, displaying the best of the Odisha culture, at Utkal Mandap here.

Clad in colourful attire, twirling and swaying to the beats of drums and flute, young boys and girls amazed the audience with Lanjia Saura tribal dance, yesterday.

Pandava Behera, leader of Karma dance group of Ghasi tribe from Boudh district, said he was slightly worried about the uncertain stormy weather. “We are prepared and we’ll perform no matter what,” he said. He further spoke about Karma dance and religious sentiments attached to it.

“We perform this as an ode to Goddess Karmeshwari. We sing and dance in tune with the percussion instruments. Hopefully, we’ll do good,” he added.

Having painted themselves in blue and peacock feather attached to their costumes, another dance group from Boudh are waiting for their turn to perform ‘Dhalia Sabara’, a dance form similar to Danda Jatra of Bhanjanagar.

“It has almost stopped raining and it’s great to see Ghumura dancers of Nayagarh district on stage. We are looking forward to the audience’s reaction to our performance,” said Gunanidhi Banka, a dancer.

This is the eighth edition of the festival being conducted annually since 2011. This year, rain seems to have played a spoilsport, affecting the footfall. “If it starts to rain heavily, we’ll shift to Rabindra Mandap,” said Vasudev Bisoi, project coordinator, State Culture Department.

He further said the festival aims at promoting folk dance and music of the state. “We started at the district level, bringing these dancers and providing them a platform. Now, we have reached blocks and villages too. These days, they approach us and are well prepared,” he added.

The event will also witness the beauty of folk dances from Keonjhar, Kendrapara, Ganjam, Koraput, Sonepur, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Balasore, Angul and Nabarangpur, among others.

The three-day festival draws to a close this evening.

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