The Konark Dance and Music Festival has been organized every year since 1986 and celebrated its silver jubilee this year with the festival held at Konark, Orissa, from February 19 to 23 2010.
Padmashree Awardee Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, is the founder & director of Konark Natya Mandap situated at Arka Vihar, Konark. This captivating festival attempts to display the best of traditional and classical dances of India and has been a pride and dream for various performing artists as the festival has been catering to discerning audiences at the lovely location near the Konark Sun Temple which is a famed World Heritage Site of India. The festival has brought lot of pride to Orissa and has put Konark on the World cultural map and is regarded as one of the leading festivals in India and supports as well as embraces art forms and artists from India and across the globe. Till date more than 7,000 performing artists had availed the opportunity to participate in this highly awaited annual international event in Orissa.
The artistes and troupe leaders include Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna, Veena exponent Viswa Mohan Bhatt, Odissi music exponent Guru Ramahari Das, Odissi dancers Sujata Mohapatra, Ramli Ibrahim (Malaysia), Ileana Citaristi and Meera Das; Kuchipudi exponent Vyjayanti Kashi from Bengaluru, Sattriya exponent Anita Sharma from Guwahati, Mohini Attam dancer Mandakini Trivedi from Mumbai, Kathak exponent Pandit Arjun Mishra from Lucknow and Bharatnatyam dancer Divyasena from Chennai. The music segment also includes solo tabla, sitar and sehnai recitals.
Classical dance and music apart, the festival also features Chhow, Gotipua and Kalari Payattu dances besides Orissa’s traditional theatre. The leading exponents and dance enthusiasts of almost all main classical dance forms of India--including Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Kathakali, and Chao--take part in the five-day classical dance carnival. Take a look at: http://konarkfestival.com/
Update: Guru Gangadhar Pradhan passed away on October 11, 2010 in a hospital inBhubaneswar, Orissa.