The Chhattisgarh government is all set to organise the third edition of ‘Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival’, a cultural event dedicated to creating international cultural amity and brotherhood, during January 16-18, 2015. The three-day mega event will be witness to celebrated artistes of national and international fame such as Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj, percussionist Pete Lockett, Santoor maestro Rahul Sharma, George Brooks (saxophone), along with celebrated singers Anuradha Paudwal and Shounak Abhisheki performing at the festival venue on the precincts of the Laxmana Temple, an architectural masterpiece dating back to the seventh century. The platform will also give an opportunity to tribal artistes to showcase their talent.
The festival will be jointly inaugurated by Ambassador of Vietnam, Ton Sinh Thanh, and Ambassador of Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), Southam Sakonhninhom, while Chhattisgarh chief minister Dr. Raman Singh will be the chief guest. State tourism and culture minister Ajay Chandrakar will preside over the event.
Dr. Singh said, “The Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival embodies an effort on our part to pay homage to Sirpur’s rich historical past– as a pilgrimage of Jains, Buddhists and Hindus and a great seat of learning. Through music and dance– which are universally known to bind humanity– our government is committed to bring the people of Chhattisgarh together and also bring back the lost days of glory of our shared heritage.”
The event will begin with ‘dewar geet’ by Rekha Dewar and ‘danda nritya’ by Sampariya and Group. Taal Chhatisgarh– a first-ever presentation will bring 50 tribal percussionists with Pete Lockett and other famous percussionists such as Giridhar Udupa (ghatam), Swaminathan (kanjira), Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla) and Umar Faruq (bhapang). Kathak performance by Yasmin Singh and classical songs on ‘Tulsi ke Ram’ and abhangs by Shounak Abhisheki will be some of the other attractions of the event. Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki along with renowned singer Asha Khadilkar will be performing on the inaugural day.
The venue of Sirpur in Mahasamund district, chosen by the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, is famous for its archaeological monuments and ancient temples. Chinese pilgrim and famous Buddhist scholar Hieun Tsang had visited Sirpur in 639 AD. Sirpur, known as Sripura in the ancient age, is situated on the bank of river Mahanadi and has a vast archaeological treasure trove.