Ustad Amjad Ali Khan to perform

The 26 {+t} {+h} annual Konark dance and music festival being hosted by late Odissi maestro guru Gangadhar Pradhan's Konark Natya Mandap will be under way at the mandap's open air theatre at Konark from February 19 to 23.

Festival coordinator and the late guru's son Sibasis Pradhan has said that though the festival is being held for three days every year from February 19 to 21, his father had made it a five-day affair last year to celebrate the silver jubilee year of the festival. “We decided to continue the festival as a five-day affair every year,” he said and added that the festival this year is being dedicated to guru Gangadhar.

Konark Natya Mandap has instituted an award in memory of its founder that will be conferred on a pioneering artiste every year, according to Mr. Sibasis. The award namely Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Award will be conferred on Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan this year during the inaugural evening. It carries a cash award of Rs. 1lakh.

Group presentations

Several celebrated musicians are slated to perform in the festival this year. Besides Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Carnatic vocalist T.N. Krishnan, flutist Ronu Mazumdar and tabla exponent Vijay Ghate will perform, while the dance segment will feature group presentations of Kathak by Nadam troupe and Bharatanatyam by Nritya Kala Madir troupe -- both from Bengaluru -- Kuchipudi by Kalakrishna's troupe from Hyderabad and Odissi by Konark Natya Mandap troupe.

The festival will further feature folk dances of Assam, Orissa and Rajasthan that include Bihu, Gotipua and Sambalpuri.