From the north Indian art form of Kathak to the fire dance Bharatnatyam that originated in temples of Tamil Nadu, our landscape is replete with classical dance varieties of unparalleled beauty and dramatic poise.
This week, the majestic ruins of Delhi’s Purana Qila will provide a fine ambience to a unique festival celebrating India’s classical dance forms.
Presented by the Sahitya Kala Parishad & Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi, the Old Fort Dance Festival will open on October 8, and will showcase over five days some of India’s most treasured classical dance forms.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi will inaugurate the festival on the evening of October 8. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi will be the Chief Guest and Kapil Mishra, Minister of Water, Tourism, Art, Culture & Languages will be the Guest of Honor. The festival of classical dance forms will see participation of <g data-gr-id="36">veteran dance</g> artists and their groups. Multiple dance forms will be witnessed. The performers include Pandit Birju Maharaj, Madhvi Mudgal and Leela Samson, among others.
“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 Leela Samson.
Bharati Shivaji & Group will open the festival with a performance of Kerala’s beautifully graceful Mohiniyattam, one of the eight classical dance forms of India recognized by the Sangeet Natak Academy. Performer-choreographer, Bharati Shivaji is a Padmashri award winner whose name is today synonymous with the exquisite Mohiniyattam.
Eminent Bharatnatyam exponent, Leela Samson and her group will perform on the second day of the festival, bringing the expressions and sculpturesque poses of Bharatnatyam to an audience of Delhi’s dance lovers. Kuchipudi, the classical dance form from Andhra Pradesh, will be the dance of the day on the third day of the Purana Qila Dance Festival. The eminent dancing couple of Raja and Radha Reddy and their group will bring alive the much-loved art form from south India. The oldest surviving dance form of India, Odissi will be at centre stage on the penultimate day of the festival, with Padma Shri Madhvi Mudgal choreographing the performance of the soft and graceful dance form.
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 numerous accolades over the years including Padma Vibhushan, sangeet Natak Academi Award and the prestigious Kalidas Samman. So, if you are a lover of unadulterated classical dance traditions, mark your evenings this week for a memorable rendezvous.
When: October 8 - 12
Where: Purana Qila
Timings: 6:30 pm onwards