Odisha Biennale brings foreign artists to Bhubaneswar, showcases state

    By IANS,

    Bhubaneswar : At least 20 artists from countries like Japan, Norway and Sweden would enthrall audiences at a nine-day Biennale commencing in this Odisha capital on Sunday, a Japanese exponent of Odissi dance who has made Orissa her home, said here.

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    The fest, considered the first such multicultural event in the state, will bring together several international performers and craftsmen on a single podium and will attempt to enrich the melting pot of art and culture. During the event, the organizers plan to showcase Odisha as a dynamic hub for ideas and an open society that encourages freedom of expression and debate, chief organiser Masako Ono said.

    “The performances are not bound by religion, caste, language or culture and are rich in creativity and art. Odisha Biennale aims to bring together tribal, folk, classical and contemporary art forms and artists from all over the world under one roof” she said.

    The ‘artMOVEsphere Bhubaneswar, Odisha Biennale 2013’ is being organised by the Mudra Foundation, a non-profit organisation launched in 2009 to share art and creativity with all sections of society, especially the underprivileged, Ono, the foundation’s managing trustee, told IANS.

    The festival will be held at different locations in Bhubaneswar. The event would witness a performance by award-winning Norwegian dancer, choreographer and composer Kenneth Flak; Yukio Suzuki would perform Butoh, a Japanese dance form that requires utmost precision and dedication; while Japan’s Bachiatari group would perform on the drums, among others.

    The Masako Ono Performing Arts (MOPA) founded by Ono has conceived and choreographed the event with Odisha’s talent.

    “Several other dancers and artists from Japan and Europe are scheduled to perform,” said Ono, an accclaimed Japanese Odissi dancer. Apart from dancers, photo, video and film professionals will also demonstrate their creativity.

    “Besides, workshops and exhibitions by traditional, contemporary and performing art professionals from India and abroad have also been planned,” Ono said.

    Several interactions between artistes in Odisha and other countries were held in Japan and in Odisha ahead of the Biennale, she added.

    Ono has been living in Bhubaneswar since 2001. She runs a dance school and teaches dance and yoga.

    She has been performing in many countries, including Japan, which she often visits every year. Her choreography – a blend of tantra, yoga and classical Indian dance – has received appreciation wherever she performs.

    She has danced and given lecture-demonstrations on Odissi in India, Japan, the US, Canada, Italy, France, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Peru, Bolivia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. She has performed for former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and incumbent Shinzo Abe.