The workshop ropes in several experts and resource persons

Transformation in theme and treatment of ‘pala' favoured

BHUBANESWAR: Providing the much-needed boost to revive and refine Orissa's unique and age-old performing arts tradition of pala, a five-day state-level convention-cum-workshop has commenced in the city. The important event is being hosted by the well-known cultural organisation Prafulla Pathagara of Jagatsinghpur.

The Pathagara has been hosting state-level annual competitive pala festivals to boost the morale of the practitioners of this dying arts tradition that has been an integral part of Orissa's culture and heritage, explained Prasanna Kumar Das, a New Delhi-based senior bureaucrat, who has been the brain behind the initiative. The workshop would attempt to bring in the required reformation to this age-old arts form in order to make it acceptable to the contemporary society, he said.

The workshop has roped in several experts and resource persons from the fields of dance, music, theatre and literature to interact with the exponents and artistes of pala. The findings of the workshop would facilitate further reformation of the performance tradition, it was learnt. The resource persons include Jnanapith awardee Sitakant Mohapatra, an authority over tribal and folk culture, Akademi awardee Odissi music exponent Ramahari Das, puppetry exponent and researcher Gouranga Charan Das, noted professor of Oriya language and literature Gaganendra Nath Das and musicologist Kirtan Narayan Padhi. Well-known poet Nrusingha Prasad Tripathy, popular orator Rajat Kar, writer-journalist Gourahari Das and puppetry exponent Gouranga Charan Das are addressing the inaugural session.