Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The great Dhauli giri, near where in the village of Kapileswara Lord Buddha was born and where Buddhist Orissa of bygone days had resisted invasion of Ashok to the extent of his relinquishing sword to take refuge in the Bouddha Upagupta, hosted a national festival of martial art styled as the Kalinga Mahotsava, in commemoration of the famous Kalinga war known to history as a turning point of world civilization.
The Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata and Art Vision, Bhubaneswar shook hands with Orissas Tourist Department and NALCO to organize the unique festival.
Ms. Ileana Citaristi, who almost has made Orissa her home with profound respect to its heritage of arts and culture, choreographed the opening item Jarjara synthesizing Thang-Ta of Manipur and Chhow of Orissa as practiced in Mayurbhanj. Mr. Santanu Mohapatra composed the music. Martial excellence of the Paika community of Khurda choreographed under the title Paika Dance was displayed as the 2nd item if the opening day. The concluding item of the day was Kalaripayattu, the martial dance of Kerala. The 2nd day was scintillating with presentation of Thang-Ta, literally meaning the art of sword and spear, by the participants from Manipur. In the same pattern of displaying undiluted explicity, the Mayurbhanj Chhow Nrtya Pratisthana of Baripada , supported by Sangit Natak Academy, New Delhi, presented the concluding event of Chhow.
Inaugurated by Minister of Panchayati Raj, Dr. Damodar Raut on February 1, the festival was declared close by Revenue Minister Mr.Biswabhusan Harichandan on February 2. But it was just a beginning of a new trend in recapitulating history. (SCP)