A national level Odissi contest will offer a platform for budding artistes.In a major move to popularise Odissi dance among the youth at the national level and encourage them to take it as a career, the Kolkata-based Oriya cultural organisation Utkala, the cultural wing of Jaganath Seva Samiti, has announced to host an all India Odissi dance competition and confer Utkal Pratibha Samman on the winners.The award will be presented during the forthcoming Rath Yatra (car festival) at the Orissa festival in Kolkata, informed Kolkata-based danseuse Aloka Kanungo, the convenor of the competition, who was in Bhubaneswar in connection with the event.Artistes in the age group of 18 to 30 will be short listed and called for preliminary interview at Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Bangalore on May 6 and 7. Of them, 30 dancers will be chosen from all over the country who will be presented Yuva Pratibha awards, Kanungo explained.
Audience participationOf the 30 young talents, 12 finalists will be groomed for the competition that will be held at Kolkata during the Rath Yatra festival. The contest will be covered by major television channels and include SMS participation of the viewers. The best three winners will be awarded Utkal Prativa Samman with attractive cash awards and they will perform in India and abroad, she added."This is an effort is to instil in these aspiring classical dancers a sense of professionalism by promoting them through competitions," explained Kanungo. Details about the competition can be viewed on www.ourorissa.com, she informed.