Festival honours literary greats Tagore, Bhanja

New Delhi: Literary greats Upendra Bhanja and Rabindranath Tagore were honoured with a music and dance festival, which had performances by Odissi dancers Chandana Raul and Minakhi Behera.

The Odissi exponents, along with singer Niranjan Patra and sarod player Akash Deep paid tribute to the two great poets from Odisha and West Bengal here last evening.

"Upendra Bhanja, who lived in the 17th century, has been compared with Shakespeare in Odiya literature. His poems are known for their complex nature.

"Tagore is known all over the world for his work and it is important that we remind people about the contribution made by these greats," said Raul when asked about the motivation behind the event.

Raul`s dance depicted the nine forms of Goddess Durga and her second performance was based on two of Tagore`s poems - `Manushi` and `Shabola`.

"The poems talk about how the existence of the world depends on women but still they don`t get the due respect. In the verse, a woman is asking God as to why does this happen," Raul explained.

After this, Behera took the stage to perform a Radha-Krishna `abhinay,` set again to a poem by Bhanja. "While Indian literature, dance and music is lapped up abroad, as I saw myself travelling across the world for performances, it is still difficult to generate excitement about it here."

"But through such events, hopefully people will engage more with our rich heritage," Raul added. The program concluded with a sarod recital by Akash Deep.


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