- In celebration of the 73rd Republic Day of India
In commemoration of the 73rd Republic Day of India, which fell on 26 January 2022, the High Commission of India hosted a night of cultural performance as part of the series of celebrations courtesy of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative.
The featured cultural performance “Divyanubhuti” was by a renowned Odissi dance troupe from India and the event was held on 28 January 2022 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).
Speaking to High Commission of India Head of Press, Information, and Development Co-operation – Colombo Eldos Mathew Punnoose, he shared that “Divyanubhuti” is a performance of great significance, stating that “it literally means experience of the divine”.
“Divyanubhuti” features Odissi, which is one of the eight classical dance forms of India, which originates from the Odisha State in Eastern India. On the basis of archaeological and historical advances, Odissi is recognised as one of the oldest surviving dance forms of India. Revering in its antiquity, its over two thousand year-old classic treatise of Indian dance, “natya shastra”, is also referred to as Odra-Magadhi.
Odissi is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance dorms by the importance it places upon tribhangi (literally: three-parts-break), the independent movement of head, chest, and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as chauka.
Punnoose noted that the dance performance is even more significant in that it was performed by distinguished artist of international repute Moumita Ghosh and her ensemble. The artist, trained under Madhavi Mudgal at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Delhi, India, and her dance, are said to exude a combination of technical clarity and artistic subtlety.
He said: “Odissi being one of the eight classical dance forms of India originating from the eastern state of Odisha in India, it also shares close historical, civilisational, and spiritual links with Sri Lanka. Odissi dance bears notable similarities to the Kandyan dance form of Sri Lanka.”
The event welcomed Shiranthi Rajapaksa, wife of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Chief Guest at the event. In attendance were also Minister of Labour Nimal Sripala de Silva, Minister of Mass Media Dullas Alahapperuma, former Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, and Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, who attended the event as Guests of Honour.
At the event, Shiranthi Rajapaksa and High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay jointly inaugurated a photo exhibition showcasing the “Buddhist Heritage of India”. The exhibition displayed the vast and diverse Buddhist art and architecture from different states of India.
In his address at the event, the High Commissioner recalled the deep civilisational and cultural bonds between the people of India and Sri Lanka. He conveyed his wishes and felicitations to the Sri Lankan brothers and sisters on the occasion of our upcoming 75th Independence Day on 4 February 2022.