Robot dance to regale audience in Pune festival

Pune: A unique robot dance choreographed in sync with hit songs will be one of the highlights of the ten-day Pune festival, an annual cultural extravaganza held here, coinciding with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.

Imported from China, Britain, US, Taiwan and Vietnam, the 40 battery operated robots will also regale the audience with `Suryanamaskar` (sun salutation), Yogasanas and push-ups in a show at the festival to be held from September 9 to 18, marking its silver jubilee year.

Suhas Punekar, who heads a group of engineers who have procured and programmed the robots for the novel show, said, "We have programmed and computerised the on-stage movement of robots for an hour long performance of synchronised steps."

Post-festival, the group will soon embark on an international tour to present the robot show featuring the Indian heritage of yoga, he added.

Renowned Hindustani and Carnatic music vocalists and artistes, including Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, will perform at the festival, to be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal.

Eminent actress and dancer Hema Malini, who is the chairperson of the silver jubilee committee of the festival, said, "Pune festival has stood the test of time as it has brought together artistes from various fields as well as sport persons."

Hema Malini, who is associated with the event from the very beginning, will perform `Ganesh Vandana`, in addition to a dance ballet to be staged by her troupe titled `Radha Raasbihari`, incorporating audio-visual technology.

Also, a bullock cart race, with participation of about 1,200 carts, will be held this year following lifting of ban on the sport by the Supreme Court, according to festival committee president Suresh Kalmadi, who started the festival 25 years ago as part of Ganesh chaturthi celebrations in the city.

The festival will also showcase a vintage car exhibition and rally as well as golf and boxing competitions, according to Krishnakant Kudale, chief coordinator of the event.


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