March 11, 2019

India International Dance Festival Held in Guwahati

A unique festival of dance - India International Dance Festival, held under the auspices of Samskritiki, Bhubaneswar, and Darpan Dance Akademi, Guwahati, took place on February 23 and 24, 2019, at the Shilpgram auditorium, Panjabari, Guwahati. Nrityacharjya Jatin Goswami, who inaugurated the festival, spoke about the importance of such platforms for the upcoming young dancers to make their identity at the national and  international levels. He appreciated the attempt of IIDF to bring together all the dance forms into a single platform. Renowned Sattriya expert Naren Baruah, Dr Meernanda Borthakur, Bharatnatyam expert Anu Basumatary and Kathak expert Vijay Srivastav were the Guests of Honour at the inauguration function. Mohiniattam exponent Kalamandalam Sreeja R Krishnan and classical vocalist Kalamandalam Sathyanarayan from Kerala were also present on the occasion. Festival convener of IIDF Guwahati, Odissi and Sattriya artiste Dr Anjana Moyee Saikia welcomed all the guests and dignitaries present on the occasion.

Renowned Sattriya exponent of Assam and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Anita Sharma inaugurated the second day’s proceedings, graced by Namrata Tiwari Talukdar, a Bharatnatyam and Manipuri artiste, Mohiniattam dancer Kalamandalam Sreeja R Krishnan, Sattriya exponents Dr Mallika Kandali, Ranjumoni Saikia, Marami Medhi, etc.

IIDF has been primarily conceived with the aim of celebrating dance without divisions. It was launched in Bhubaneswar, in 2015, by Samskritiki, a 29-year-old cultural society of Odisha. Shyamhari Chakra, a journalist and dance critic of national repute, who is the founder-secretary of Samskritiki, had conceptualised the idea of the festival. Bengaluru-based Sai Venkatesh is the festival chairperson, while Dr Anjana Moyee Saikia, who is the founder-secretary of the Darpan Dance Akademi, is the festival convener at Guwahati. 

The motto of this festival is to strengthen bonds among places, countries and cultures through dance, and to bring all dance traditions and styles together to a common platform. It seeks to strengthen global goodwill and international integration, apart from developing a cultural bond between India with the rest of the world. Today, IIDF has grown into a multi-city event. It is being hosted every year in Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, and this year, the chapters in Guwahati, Pune, Amravati has been launched, while Kolkata, Trissur, Bhopal, Agartala and Puducherry are set to be launched soon. IIDF in Guwahati showcased various dance forms presented by gifted performers who stole the hearts of the audiences with their exquisite renditions and graceful movements.

A number of artistes performed different dance forms like Sattriya, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Odissi, Mohiniattam, and traditional forms like Bhortal Nritya, Bodo, Tai Ahom, among others. There was also a talent search section for the young participants under 20 and 30 years of age on both the days, in the morning hours. It was a real visual treat for the audiences to witness such vibrant performances by young dancers, who showcased various classical dance forms. The dynamic rhythms of Kathak, the graceful and expressive movements of Odissi, Sattriya, Manipuri, vibrant steps of Bharatnatyam, woven with a series of lyrical movements, regaled the audiences.

The festival, organised for the first time in the Northeast India by Samskritiki and Darpan Dance Akademi, was attended by a number of noted dignitaries, dance connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

Prantik Deka