A two-day festival titled "Jayadeva Utsav-2006" featuring music, dance and a seminar opens in the Capital this coming Thursday.

Organised by Odissi Akademi -- one of the premier cultural institutions engaged in promotion and propagation of classical Indian performing art forms -- in association with Habitat World and Sahitya Akademi, the main purpose behind holding the seminar-cum-dance festival is to throw light on the life, legends and works of Shri Jayadeva, the secular, mystic and saint poet of love who wrote "Geeta Govinda" centuries ago.

The dance festival will see prominent artistes belonging to different music and dance forms presenting their choreographic compositions based on Shri Jayadeva's poetry, while the seminar will witness deliberation and presentation of papers by eminent scholars from across the country on the life and works of this legendary poet.

The seminar conducted by eminent scholar Subhash Pani will be held at Sahitya Akademi, while the festival featuring Jaya Rama Rao and Vanashree Rao (Kuchipuri), Geeta Chandran (Bharatanatyam), Sharmila Biswas (Odissi), Priti Patel (Manipuri), Malti Shyam (Kathak), Jaya Prabha Menon (Mohiniattam), Subhadra Desai (Hindustani vocal) and Sumanta Mohanty, Sukanta Kundu and Nazia Alam (Odissi vocal) will be held at India Habitat Centre.

Described as the last of the ancients and first of the moderns in the Indo-Aryan poetry, Shri Jayadeva is universally acknowledged to be a writer of the sweetest lyrics in the Sanskrit language and his influence on the poets and scholars across the country through his single work "Geeta Govinda" is phenomenal.

The poet's works have influenced all sections of people ranging from scholars to dancers, musicians, painters and common masses.

Odissi Akademi is organising the festival for the fourth time in New Delhi. Over the years "Jayadeva Utsav'' has not only earned a special place in the calendar of festivals in the country but has also been widely treated as one of the most sought after mega cultural events.

It is looked forward to by the artistic community as well as art connoisseurs. Madhur Tankha

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