CELEBRATION OF INDIAN HERITAGE THROUGH DANCE AND MUSIC

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Colors of Culture and Heritage, The NamoLeague Times
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LIGHTS, COLORS, HIGH ENERGY LEVELS, GLIMPSES OF CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT IS WHAT LEAVES THE VISITORS MESMERIZED AT THE MODHERA DANCE FESTIVAL
 
Gujarat is not all about Garba – Modhera Dance Festival proves this fact. Classical dancers from all parts of the country take part in this grand occasion and enthrall the audience. Professional artistes as well as emerging talents perform at this annual festival. A signature celebration of the Gujarat Tourism Department, the festival aims at providing prominence to Indian Classical and Folk Dance and to present these dance forms in an atmosphere they were originally presented in.
 
MODHERA: A MASTERPIECE
 
The beautiful Sun Temple at Modhera acts as the venue for the Dance Festival. The architectural style of the temple is superb and lots of efforts have been made in the past on its adornment. The walls contain the sculptural carvings that speak of the rich cultural heritage of Gujarat. Though the temple of the 11th century is in ruins, it is considered as one of the best examples of Indian art and architecture of the bygone era.The temple is dedicated to Lord Surya (the Sun God) and its outer walls are covered with prominent figures of the Lord. The style in which the temple was built bears a strong resemblance to that of the Jain temples at Mount Abu.Modhera is located in North Gujarat and is 25 km away from the town of Mehsana. The temple was built during the reign of the Solanki king Bhimdev I. The most fascinating feature of the temple is that its construction is such that sun’s first rays illuminate the main deity in the innermost chamber of the shrine, through the main doors.

ALSO CALLED UTTARARDH MAHOTSAV

This festival of dance is also called Uttarardh Mahotsav. This name is derived from the placement of the Sun. The festival is held after Uttrayan, the time when the sun starts his voyage towards Uttar or North indicating the end of winter and the beginning of longer days with a pleasant breeze. During Uttrayan, the Sun transmigrates from one planet to the other; it travels from Dhanu or Sagittarius to Makar that is Capricorn. Halfway through this voyage, the time when ‘ardh’ or half of ‘uttar’ or Northward journey is over, the period is known as Uttarardh.

DANCE DELIGHT IN AN AMAZING BACKDROP

The delight is to watch the performers blend in the ambience and bring life to the sandstone figurines of the temple, singing and narrating legends of history.

The main highlight of the Modhera Dance Festival is the typical Garba performance that depicts the glorious culture of Gujarat. People attired in colorful costumes perform the Garba dance. The whole atmosphere is so breathtaking that it leaves the audience totally spellbound. Dance troupes and performers from all regions of the nation bring along a panorama of varied dance forms and styles, interlaced with the essence of their origins. It is during this time that Modhera witnesses large number of crowds, who come here to witness this fabulous occasion and take pleasure in watching the varied art forms.

WITNESSES TO THE DANCE FESTIVAL

The festival is attended by art and dance connoisseurs from all across the world. Classical and folk dancers and musicians from different states of the country exhibit their talent while culture enthusiasts witness this splendid event. Inhabitants and natives from nearby villages also are an indigenous part of the occasion.

Some of the people who grace the marvelous Dance Festival are Vaijyanti – a Kuchipudi dancer, Kathak dancer – Padmashree Kumidini Lakhia and Parul Shah – Bharat Natyam Dancer. The festival has gained popularity as it showcases the participation of the leading enthusiasts such as Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh and her group as well as Bharat Natyam dancer Ilakshiben Thakore.

The tourists thoroughly enjoy this Dance Festival, as they get a chance to see the dance forms of ancient as well as contemporary India simultaneously.

A NOT-TO-MISS EVENT

The festival takes place every year in the month of January. The schedule for this year is 21-23rd January. The festival has too much to offer – an experience of the living heritage of Indian dance and music while traversing back in time sitting in the lap of golden history.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=CELEBRATION%20OF%20INDIAN%20HERITAGE%20THROUGH%20DANCE%20AND%20MUSIC_416

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