Kameswari dance festival at Kamakhya temple

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Guwahati, Jan 18 (UNI) Billed as a future match to the Konark Dance Festival of Orissa, the Kameswari Dance Festival in the famous Kamakhya temple once again reverberated the courtyard with music and dance performance by eminent artistes.

In an effort to revive the tradition of appeasing Goddess Kamakhya through music, eminent classical dancers and vocalists participated in this bonanza of classical dance and music.

Its for the first time since the days of Ahom Kings that the temple has witnessed the exponents of Indian classical music who wove the magic through their performance and captivated thousands of audience under the sky.

The cold breeze coming from the adjacent river Brahamputra added more coziness to the environment as the exponents belted out their best one after another keeping the audience spellbound for over three years.

The Kameswari dance festival was organised by the Kamakhya Debottar Board, the temple trust, and last year's tremendous success of this one-day festival emboldened enough to go for two-day event with Airtel as main sponsor of the event.

The jewels of Indian classical music participated in the festival.

Padma Vibhusan Sonal Mansingh returned to perform on the first day after the noted danseuse participated in the maiden festival last year. She had the company of Pandit Sugato Bhaduri and Indira PP Bora on the first day.

The second day of the festival witnessed the performances of Padmashree Shovana Narayana, Padma Bhusan Pandit Rajan Mishra and Padma Bhusan Pandit Sujan Mishra.

The nimble feet movement of Sonal Mansingh and unison of Mishra brother were heavenly, especially at the backdrop of the Kamkhya temple.

''After the great response we got last year, we planned the festival for two-days this year. It was a life time opportunity.

Almost all of them are in their advance ages. But they were simply superb,'' Advisor to the Temple Trust, Bhabani Charan Sharma said.

Citing the mention of this dance tradition in the Kamkhya temple in ancient scriptures, Mr Sharma said, ''The festival was to recreate the ethereal evenings of those days when Kamdev, Rati and Kameswari devi herself used to engage in heavenly dance in the temple premise.'' The dance tradition was kept alive since the Ahom days, when the king himself is said to have sat in audience as dancers try to bring alive the premise with their feet movement to the accompaniment of devotional songs to appease the Mother Goddess.

However, the tradition had come to a halt for unknown reasons and the Kamkhya Debottar Board, which manages the temple, is making this attempt to reviving the earlier tradition.

The trust hopes that with the revival of this annual festival, soon this will be a major calendar event in the Indian classical music circuit.

UNI MT DS MSJ KP1523

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