Mega-event ‘Dance of India @75’, a three-day virtual classical dance competition organized by the cultural icon of India and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh culminated on Saturday, the auspicious day of ‘Guru Purnima’. This first-ever virtual dance competition was organized by the Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD), also known as Shri Kamakhya Kalapeeth run by the Odissi Danseuse. The competition, which was streamed on OTT platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Koo, Sharechat, and TV channels received a good response from the artist community and participants.
Before the grand finale, Sonal Mansingh in her address informed that the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi had acknowledged their efforts and hard work behind holding the dance competition. She then read out the letter sent by the Prime Minister, excerpts of which read – “The noble endeavor to support our artists’ community is appreciable. Our classical dances are representative of our timeless culture ingrained in the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. The diversity and the richness of our art and heritage have filled every Indian would take pride. A creative blend of abhinaya and bhava, the classical dances strike an instant chord with the audience.” The letter also said the themes of the dance competition represent a Sanatan Bharat and a recognition of the sacrifices of Indian freedom fighters who did not get the space and identity in history. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the event will offer the participants a vibrant platform to showcase their talent and skills and wished CICD all the success.
Minister of State for Culture Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal in his message praised the efforts of Dr. Mansingh for helping the artist community through her academy during the 16 months of the covid19 pandemic. He congratulated and wished Dr. Mansingh and the CICD all the luck for their endeavors.
Expert in Natya Shastra Dr. Padma Subrarmaniam, Sarod Maestro Pandit Amjad Ali Khan, President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Mr. Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, Singer and composer Papon, Stage and film personality Manoj Joshi as representatives of the artists’ community too appreciated the efforts behind the idea of virtual dance competition.
After the performances on the final day of the event, winners in various categories were announced. The scrutiny for the final winners was done by 10 judges in the first round and 5 judges in the second round. The organizers informed that all aspects of a physical dance competition, including registrations, participation as well as the judging process was transformed into a virtual experience.
The winners of the group competition were first prize Harekrushna in the Unsung Heroes of India category; second prize Ashwini in the Atmanirbhar Bharat category; and third prize Aishwarya also in the Unsung Heroes of India category. Winners of special prize in group dance competition are Khyati in Atmanirbhar Bharat category; Vaishnavi in Unsung Heroes of India category; Vaishnavi in Unsung Heroes of India category; Lekha in Atmanirbhar Bharat category; and Roja Kannan in Atmanirbhar Bharat category.
The winners of solo dance contest – first prize Pritam Das in Vishwaguru Bharat category; second prize Lekha Prasad in Unsung Heroes of India category; and third prize Atrrayee Chowdhary in Unsung Heroes of India category. Winners of special prize in solo dance competition are Aditi Bangre in Unsung Heroes of India category; Surabhi in Unsung Heroes of India category; Bidwikta in Vishwaguru Bharat category; Riha Giri in Unsung Heroes of India category; and Niranjan in Vishwaguru Bharat category.
The three-day dance festival was organized in eight (8) forms of India’s rich tradition of classical dances viz. Odissi. Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Sattriya and Kathakali. Entries to the virtual dance competition were invited on three themes; namely Atmanibhar Bharat, Vishwa Guru Bharat, and Unsung Heroes of India, and under solo and group categories.