Its varied dance forms are an indicator to India’s rich cultural heritage. All classical dance forms revolve around the nine ‘Rasa’ or emotions, namely happiness, anger, fear, courage, peace, kindness, agony, surprise and disgust. Numerous dance festivals are a pointer to the continued and growing popularity of India’s rich heritage. Some of them are:
Hampi festival is one of the major tourist attractions of Karnataka. It features dance, drama and music against the backdrop of the rocks and ruins of an ancient empire. It takes place around late January.
It is the best known dance festival held in February-March in Khajuraho. The cultural extravaganza takes place at an ampitheatre near of the Chitragupta Temple.
Konark Dance Festival
Held against the backdrop of the imposing Sun temple, annually from February 19 to 23. The exquisite ‘Salamander’ or the ‘dancing hall’ of the Sun temple is an architectural wonder. The walls are covered with fine sculpture. The festival started in the year 1986 at Konark Natya Mandap, Arka Vihar, Konark. It was started by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
In late December or early January, for 4 weeks danseuse enthrall against backdrop of the Pallava Rock Sculpture – ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ of this ancient temple town, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a twice a year festival – held in October-November and March-April in the Nishagandhi Theatre, at the Kanakunnu palace compound in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also the Lord of dance forms as the ‘Nataraj’, it begins on Mahashivratri at the 1000 year old temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
Taj Mahotsav is a 10 day extravaganza held between February and March. It features classical dances, folk art and music. The venue is Shilpgram, a stone throw from the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra.
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