Music and dance are part of Indian culture. No other country has so many languages and cultures which makes our country unique and different from others. To promote unity in diversity, most of the art lovers conduct music and dance festivals in the country. Apart from the world-renowned Khajuraho Dance Festival, there are a few other temples that hold similar events every year.
Started in the year 1986 by founder-director of Konark Natya Mandap Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, a Padma Shri awardee, the Konark Dance and Music Festival is a popular annual cultural event in the country. In a way, it is considered the “harbinger of the contemporary festivals of Odisha”.
The sole aim of the festival is to “bring in many artistes into its cultural family and creating international cultural amity and brotherhood”. This festival has established its own unique identity with varied Indian classical, folk and tribal dances/music of our country being showcased. Each year, the stage at Natyashala in Sun Temple, Konark, comes alive with the performances of eminent artistes of national and international repute. Usually, the festival is held every year from February 19 to 23, but, this year, the 33rd edition of the festival got postponed and the dates are not yet announced.
Chidambaram dance festival
Since its inception in 1981, ‘Chidambaram Natyanjali’ – the festival of dance at Chidambaram has been known for the devotion of the dancers dedicating their ‘Natya’ (dance) as ‘anjali’ (offering) and worship to the Lord of Dance – Lord Nataraja. This year, the five-day Natyanjali Festival was held from February 28 to March 4. Dancers from across the world representing different Indian classical forms gather at Chidambaram and offer their performances to Lord Nataraja. The uniqueness of the festival lies in its devotional aspect and thus differs from other dance festivals. According to many dancers, it is a blessing to be able to perform in this temple, the pillars of which are carved with the images Lord Nataraja in 108 poses of Bharatanatyam.
Other popular places where Music and dance festivals are organised:
- Vanamamalai (Nanguneri), Tamil Nadu
- Mamallapuram Dance Festival
- Nishigandhi Dance Festival
- Pattadakkal Dance Festival
- Chennai Dance and Music Festival