Presented by Sahitya Kala Parishad & Dept of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt of Delhi, the festival includes participation from veterans such as Pandit Birju Maharaj, Leela Samson, Madhvi Mudgal, among others
New Delhi, : Veteran Odissi exponent and Padma Shri Madhvi Mudgal and her group of dancers performed at the Old Fort Dance Festival today, bringing alive the oldest surviving dance form of India for Delhi’s connoisseurs of classical dance.
Presented by the Sahitya Kala Parishad & Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi, the Old Fort Dance Festival is showcasing some of India’s most treasured classical dance forms.
The festival, that will end tomorrow, has been much appreciated and loved by the audience who have turned out in good numbers every day. The majestic ruins of Delhi’s Purana Qila have provided a fine ambience to this unique festival celebrating India’s classical dance forms.
The five-day festival of choreographies in classical dance forms has seen participation of veteran and legendary dance artists and their groups in multiple dance forms including Bharati Shivaji, Raja and Radha Reddy, among others. Legendary Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj will perform with his group on the last day of the festival.
On the sidelines of the festival, critically acclaimed artist Manav Gupta is displaying his latest installation – a waterfront of Ganga made out of chilams and diyas which are elements of nature. He has been working since long to create public art sculptures that generate concern towards sustainability. “This innovative art practice with potter’s clay (chilams and diyas) represents the tool as a means of getting intoxicated with the rain of love and also explores sustainable development”, says Mr. Gupta.
“The repertoire of Indian classical dances represents centuries of culture and tradition that has been preserved and sustained by generations of devoted exponents and earnest artists. Across the globe, Indian classical dance forms are appreciated and loved by dance lovers. Such festivals help extend the reach of classical dance forms to not just connoisseurs of dance but also to common people,” says Pandit Birju Maharaj.
“The idea behind the Old Delhi Dance Festival to juxtapose cultural heritage with structural heritage is a wonderful concept. The Purana Qila presents a poignant background to the performance of India’s most notable classical dance forms, some of whom originated centuries back in ancient and medieval times,” says Ms Leela Samson.
The festival will end with a performance of Kathak choreographed by none other than Pandit Birju Maharaj and his Group. The legendary exponent of Kathak has received numeours accolades over the years including Padma Vibhushan, sangeet Natak Academi Award and the prestigious Kalidas Samman.