MKF: Music, dance, poems and discussions

Mystic Kalinga Festival, a celebration of verse, music, dance and discussion, will be held in Bhubaneshwar from February 8 –9, 2020

The Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF), a Festival of verse, music, dance and discussion, returns to the city of culture and spirituality – Bhubaneshwar. During the two days, the capital city of Orissa will witness over 100 renowned writers, poets and artistes performing and speaking on various interesting topics. Eminent speakers including the Amish Tripathi, Purushottam Agrawal, Kailash Kher, Subha Mudgal, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Mooralala Marwada, Smita Bellur, Madhavas Rock Band and many others will mark their presence. The central theme of this edition of Mystic Kalinga Festival is 'Divine Madness: Knowledge, Ecstasy, and Transformation', and it will be held on February 8 and 9, 2020.

The Mystic Kalinga Literary Awards were instituted in 2017 to recognise and celebrate prolific and inspiring writers, poets and performers. From this year, prize money of Rs one lakh each, along with a khadi shawl and certificate for the laureate.

Two awards will be presented including the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award – Odia, which will be conferred on a person making towering contributions to the Odia language, literature and culture. Secondly, Mystic Kalinga Literary Award – Indian and Global Languages will be given to a personality with a corpus work in any Indian or international language. To nominate and finalize these awardees, an international jury has been instituted which will chooe the nominees keeping in mind their contribution to their specific language and genre, as well as the contemporary appeal and relevance of their work.

Mystic Kalinga Festival, Founder and President Rashmi Ranjan Parida highlighted the need to focus on literature especially on history, mysticism, music, dance, and spiritual literature. He expressed happiness on the huge positive response that the last three editions of Mystic Kalinga Festival has received from audiences across India and the world.

Announcing the dates of the festival, Parida said, "Mystic Kalinga Festival celebrates the spirit of mystics, philosophers and poet saints, reflecting on the lyrical and creative aspects of their work and teachings, in a fulfilling two-day programme. The works and philosophies of these mystics are all about inclusiveness – and every year, Mystic Kalinga Festival celebrates this philosophy, bringing to music, dance, poetry-lovers an unforgettable experience of listening to leading exponents of the music, dance, art, poetry and literature. The Festival celebrates the uniqueness of Mystic India".

This year, it will feature the inimitable Shubha Mudgal – who will share her personal understanding of bhakti, and what it means to walk the mystical path as a contemporary female seeker and musician.

Smita Belur, Filmmaker, singer and pioneer of the Kabir Project, will discuss how the mystic poets swept into her life and led her into a voyage she never anticipated. Also, leading story teller Amish Tripathi will reflect the traditions and works on Rama, including the Valmiki Ramayana as a biographical account of the personality before he came to be revered as a 'God'.

Prominent Odissi dance exponent Sharmila Biswas will discuss and demonstrate how she infuses Bhakti into dance, while well-known theatre actor and storyteller Danish Husain will present an engaging performance that explores the blurred divide between Bhakti and Sufi traditions.

Acclaimed poets, translators and scholars – including Ramakant Rath, Sitakant Mohapatra, Paramita Satpathy, Sachidananda Mohanty, Kedar Mishra, and Bishnu Narayan Mohapatra – will read and discuss the extraordinary verses of some of the greatest mystic poets of this subcontinent, from Appar and Sambandar to Tulsidas and Ravidas, from Adi Shankara and Jayadeva to Tukaram and Lal Ded, from Meerabai to Janabai, from Salabega to Abhirami Bhattar, and several others.

Every year, the Festival hosts a variety of sessions focused books, themes, subjects and literature from India and across the world in an effort to offer a deep understanding and appreciation of mysticism.

So, book your dates to join a festival that unpacks the many nuances of this strange and fascinating tradition of Bhakti, and to a conclave of extraordinary talents, perspectives and performances.

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