Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: Famous folk artiste Tejan Bai and this year’s Padma Shri awardee Odissi exponent Gangadhar Pradhan will be conferred the Kharavela national award for their significant contribution to Indian culture during the forthcoming week-long Kharavela festival at the Khandagiri foothills here.

Into its sixth year, the event is being hosted by the city-based K.N.Memorial Foundation in association with the Department of Tourism, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkotta and Jayadev Foundation of Bhubaneswar. While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would inaugurate it on February 13, Governor M.C.Bhandare would attend the valedictory ceremony, Culture Minister S.N.Patro informed.

Orissa’s dying art traditions would be the focus of the festival this year, he said and added that 12 such troupes would be invited to perform in it. The list includes Prahlad Natak of Ganjam, rod-puppet theatre of Keonjhar, Moghul Tamasha of Bhadrak, Radha Prema Leela of Ganjam, Danda Nacha of Anugul, Dhana Koila of Badamba, Ghanta Patua dance of Jagatsinghpur, Bharat Leela of Ganjam, Bajasal of Kalahandi, Dhimsa of Koraput and Dhuduki of Ganjam, it was learnt.

In classical dance component, noted Bharat Natyam dancer and popular television star Sudha Chandran would perform along with her troupe. A number of cultural troupes from Gujarat, Goa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand are participating in this week-long extravaganza that coincides with the popular and ancient Khandagiri Magha Mela being hosted on the same site.

Performing artistes of folk, tribal and classical forms apart, a number of seminars on emperor Kharavela and Kalinga empire would be organized during the event, the hosts informed.