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11th edition of Pragjyoti International Dance Festival ends on high note with Odissi, Mohiniattam and Sattriya recital

11th edition of Pragjyoti International Dance Festival ends

The 11th edition of the Pragjyoti International Dance Festival ends on a high note here at Sri Sri Madhavdev International Auditorium of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra on Saturday. The concluding day witnessed Odissi performance by Vinod Kevin Bachan from West Indies, a disciple of well – known Odissi Guru, Smt. Ranjana Gauhar; Mohiniattam by the renowned scholar, practitioner and Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Awardee, Dr. Methil Devika and a Sattriya recital by prominent dancer and scholar Dr. Anwesa Mahanta.

Prior to the performances, the evening session also had a series of an interesting panel discussion which concentrated on one of the burning issues in the field of practice of Indian Dance Traditions today. The evening session began with a panel discussion on “Pay and Perform: A Banal Trend in Indian Classical Dance Communities; Challenges & Perspectives” amidst eminent art personalities artistes, scholars and audience – Shri Ashok Jain, Ms. Anita Sharma, Ms. Marami Medhi, Dr. Meernanda Borthakur and was moderated by Shrinkhla Sahai. Eminent Sattriya danseuse Seetarani Hazarika coordinated the session and opened the session for discussion with the artists in the audience. Several dancers in the audience interacted with the panel and conversed on the challenges in the field of pursuing dance as a career and the panel suggested ways of pursuing their art with confidence and conviction.

During the morning hours, the 11th PIDF artists conducted a session at Assam Down Town University at 10:00 AM. On an earlier occasion, Prof. Amarjyoti Choudhury, the Vice-Chancellor of Assam Down Town University appreciated Kalpa’s endeavors and its collaboration ADTU for the 11th PIDF.

Speaking regarding his performance Vinod Kevin Bachan said, “It is a wonderful opportunity for me to perform in the 11th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival. Any opportunity is given to me to showcase my guru’s work (Padmashree Ranjana Gauhar) and her guru’s work (Legendary Guru Mayadhur Raut) is a blessing. It is also wonderful that the organizer Dr. Anwesa Mahanta invites male dancers as it is a struggle for men to get platforms in dance and I extended my gratitude to her and Kalpa for having me in this edition.”

It must be noted that the Festival in the last ten years featured artistes across several countries including the US, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Canada, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Syria along with renowned artists from various states of India including Assam. The 11th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival hosted in association with Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra and Kri Foundation, with a support from Sangeet Natak Akademi, Oil India Limited, State Bank of India, Topcem Cement, Indian Oil, Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Gauhati University, Assam Down Town University, Life’s Purple and The News Mill in promoting this initiative of cultural integration and international understanding, has contributed immensely towards the state’s growth in the field of cultural diplomacy.

The Festival Director, Dr. Anwesa Mahanta shares that “With every passing edition, PIDF has taken up socially relevant concerns and initiatives to promote the softer power of art in celebrating diversity and confluence of minds through the medium of art and dance in particular, by providing an open space to varied art forms and practitioners. While we have been working towards the promotion of cultural tourism in Assam through the exchange of minds and cultural expressions, it has been our earnest effort also to acquaint art practitioners coming from diverse regions and traditions to interact and see the rich legacy of life and culture of Assam.”