Bhubaneswar: In a bid to set a world record, Odissi dancers from across the globe presented a spectacular show together in the biggest ever assembly at the opening of International Odissi Festival here today.
Creating history of sorts, the colourful mega dance show by 555 performers together on a single platform heralded the eight-day event aimed at finding a place in the Guinness World Record.
Odissi dancers from India and abroad performed during the grand festival organised by Odisha`s Tourism and Culture department in association with Odissi Research Centre (ORC) and US-based Indian performing Arts Promotion (IPAP).
As the 555 artistes in traditional colourful Odissi attire joined the group performance in their effort to win the coveted distinction, the sprawling Kalinga Stadium in the state capital presented a grand spectacle.
"The event takes Odissi dance form from micro to macro and from mini to maxi level. It is a spectacular show of rich heritage and cultural excellence," said festival chairman Lalit Mansingh.
The performers, who had undergone systematic practice for the great show, gave expression to all major facets of the Odissi dance form, said ORC director Ramahari Das.
A large number of people including dance buffs, critics and artistes thronged the venue to have a glimpse of the unique 30-minute presentation. The distinguished gathering included Odisha`s Tourism and Culture minister Prafulla Samal and Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani.
The event came after a performance of around 2,800 Kuchipudi dancers, who earned the Guinness World Record last year in Hyderabad, a senior Culture department official said.
Representatives of the Guinness World Records were present at the venue to assess and judge various aspects of the performance and see whether the guidelines laid down for the event were adhered to. The outcome of the competition would be known in 3-4 days, the organisers said.
Besides Kalinga Stadium, programmes would be presented by about 1,000 Odissi dancers at Rabindra Mandap, Utkal Mandap and Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya during the festival.
Seminars, symposia and discussions on Odissi dance would also be organised during the festival which would go a long way in increasing the popularity of the dance form, Guru Ratikant Mohapatra said.
The event would certainly create greater awareness among people all over the world about Odissi and place the dance form on a different pedestal, said noted danseuse Aruna Mohanty.