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Konark Dance Festival

Konark dance Festival:An important festival of Orissa

The annual Konark Festival, which is held in an open air auditorium with the Sun temple of Konark as the backdrop, showcases a parade of India’s classical and traditional dance forms. Eminent dancers and their troupe delight visitors in the cold evening of early December with dramatic choreographies. Apart from the dance performances, visitors are treated with an exhibition of Oriya temple sculptures and Sand Art exhibitions. The Konark Dance Festival was first organized in 1989 at the Open Air Auditorium at Konark as a conglomeration of the classical dances of India to patronize the Sun temple of Konark and Orissa, as a place of tourist destination. The fiesta is a joint effort by Orissa Dance Academy and Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata to bolster Indian Classical Art in the global market.

On its inception, the festival was an event organized for a period of three days. However, owing to ascending popularity, the span of the festival was extended to five days. Today this classical extravaganza draws aficionados from all over the country who visit the place to enjoy dance presentations as varied as the Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri and Chau. The festival is organized in the ethereal Natyamandapa (Dancing hall) of the shrine .The Natyamandira greets everyone wholeheartedly, with two fierce-looking lions, one on each side of the steps and elephants sitting atop writhing men. It is said that, the lion signifies power, the elephant connotes wealth and man stands for justice. The walls of the Natyamandira are also beautifully carved with images of deities, celestial bodies, musicians, dancers, lovers and military battles.

Another attraction of the festival is the Craft Mela and Handicraft Exhibition. Organized by the State Industry Department since 1991, this fair boasts of trendy handicrafts, artists camps, rural handlooms and potteries, where skilled artisans and craftsman display their dexterity in a rural setting.

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