Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav
Shanti Vihar, Dhauli, 6.30pm
February 6 - 8, 2015 Bhubaneswar
January 29, 2015

The Kalinga Mahotsav, a National Festival of Martial Dances, has been organized at the foothill of the Shanti Stupa, on the top of the Dhauli hill, yearly since 2003. Jointly organized by Art Vision in collaboration with Dept of Tourism, Government of Odisha, this unique festival along the years presented group of martial dancers from each part of India and also from South Korea and Japan. The aim of the festival, the brainchild of Dr. Ileana Citaristi, is to harmonize the vigor of martial tradition with the sublimity of peace through dance performances in the place where Emperor Ashoka is believed to have fought the last battle of the great Kalinga war before surrendering the sword and embracing Buddhism.

Every region in India has developed a system of exercises to be used as technique of attack and defense in wars and combats. These martial techniques, apart from being useful as systems of attack and defense, are also a storehouse of information for studying the kinetics of body language of classical dance forms such as Kathakali, Manipuri and Chhau which have directly developed from the respective martial forms of their region.

Since 2012, the Kalinga Festival has become part of the Dhauli Festival organized by Orissa Dance Academy and this association gave birth to the Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav which takes place at the foothill of the Dhauli hill. In keeping with the tradition of presenting each year a contemporary choreography based on martial art along with performances of traditional martial artists, this year also the Festival, which is held from the 6th to the 8th of February, offers performances belonging to both the genres.

On the opening day, the Neralu Trust from Mysore, headed by Kartik Upamanyu, presents the martial art from Karnataka called Kamsale. The Neralu Trust is focused on nurturing and developing Karnataka Theater and Folk arts with the intent to raise funds for building an orphanage and supporting Old Age people. The martial art Kamsale is one of the folk arts of Karnataka. In the older days it was performed as a ritual in front of God Malimahadeswara. While it was practiced by the soldiers in the medieval period, later on it became a folk art where a lot of stress is given to the songs which accompany the dance.

On the second day, the group DDC from Tokyo, Japan, composed of two Japanese dancers (Rianto and Kana Kitaoka), one Russian (Julia Kotolina) and one Indian dancer from Manipur (Surjit Nongmeikapam) presents a contemporary work based on the martial arts of their respective countries. Their work titled ‘Moon and the River’ aims at presenting the opposite flows of energy, the feminine and masculine one, which are both present and indispensible for the growth of human civilization.

On the concluding day, the group Mayur Art Centre from Bhubaneswar, presents Kalinga Juddhiya, an item depicting the Kalinga war, choreographed by Achintya Behera with music by Ramahari Das and Dhaneswar Swain, script by Vijay Mohanty and concept by Pradeep Misra.

The Mayurbhanji Chhau dance is the one, among the three styles of Chhau, which has retained the martial derivation of the style in a most evident way. The whirling of the legs, somersaults and balancing acts peculiar to the style add vigor to the elegance of the dance, making the performance a spectacular and energizing experience.

- Feb 6
BIBIDDHA VARNA, folk dances of Odisha
Kathak by Aditi Mangaldas, Drishtikon Dance Company, Delhi
Kamsale dance (Martial arts), Karthik Upamanyu, Neralu, Karnataka

- Feb 7
Gotipua group dance, Orissa Dance Academy & Aradhana Danec Academy, Bhubaneswar
Odissi, Ratikant Mohapatra & Srjan, Bhubaneswar
Martial dance of South Asia, Rianto & group, South Asia

- Feb 8
CHARISHNU featuring Bharatanatyam by Leela Samson & grp, Manipuri by Priti Patel & grp, Kathk by Aditi Mangaldas & grp, Kathakali by Sadanam Balakrishnan & grp, Odissi by Aruna Mohanty & grp.
Music by Mahesh Vinaykaram & group
Mayurbhanj Chhau by Mayur Art Centre, Bhubaneswar

Venue: Shanti Vihar, foothills of Dhauli, Bhubaneswar
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm