Cuttack plays host to innumerable cultural programmes
The millennium city of Cuttack plays host to innumerable cultural programmes in all seasons of a year. And during this part of the year when climate is at its best, dance festivals line up to warm up the wintry evenings.
After the week-long cultural nights during Baliyatra festival and closely followed by gala nights by Barabati dance festival, it was left for EKATA (Encouraging Kataka Amateur Talent Association) to complete the icing on the cake by staging National Folk Dance Festival during the year-end which extended up to the first two days of the New Year celebrations.
Organised by some young and enthusiastic culture-loving youths of the city, EKATA dance festival, only in its fifth year of existence—is already a big hit in the national dance calendar.
“This year as many as 18 groups comprising more than 600 folk artistes from Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Assam and Meghalaya performed their folk dances at Kala Vikash Kendra here with jam-packed auditorium on all seven days beginning from December 27”, said the advisor of the organising committee advocate Prasanna Kumar Nanda.
“This is a rare platform in the entire country where you find folk dancers from different parts of the country congregate in large numbers to perform in front of a cheering audience who enjoy every moment of the occasion,” Mr Nanda said, adding that the organising committee every year is flooded with request from dance groups from every part of the country.
Seeing the interest among participants, the organising committee has decided to extend the length of the festival from next year. “Giving a chance to raw talents of the country to hone their flair on this stage is perhaps the single-most encouraging point for success of this festival”, Mr Nanda says.
Be it ‘Tiwa', an adivasi dance of Assam or ‘Lawni', ‘Jagaran' and ‘Gauwliee' from Maharashtra or ‘Phagua' Satriya and Dhangar from Jharkhand, every beat of folk music and the graceful body movements of this legend dance forms were performed to its best here on the occasion.
“We need to preserve this great legacy by encouraging our youngsters to watch and perform these dance forms regularly. We don't have any problem with modern dances but along with classical and contemporary dance forms, folk dances need to be encouraged vigorously,” Mr Nanda feels.