Odissi dancers of India and Korea to perform at Sarang Festival
Odissi classical dancers of India and Korea will take center stage at the Sarang Festival touring nationwide through Oct. 14, the Indian Embassy in Seoul announced.
“The word Sarang has a very meaningful connotation for both Koreans and Indians,” said Amit Kumar, the newly appointed ambassador of India to Korea, in addressing an audience at the Indian Cultural Centre in Seoul on Thursday. “In Korean it means love, while for us it means diversity representing different colors of India.”
The festival, the eighth organized by the embassy since 2015, was planned as part of the celebrations of India’s 75 years of independence this year, according to the embassy.
It also comes in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of Korea-India relations next year.
“In contemporary times, our two countries are working on expanding our cooperation in the areas of economy, security, supply chains, energy and a shared vision of the people,” said Kumar. “We hope to not only expand and deepen the areas of cooperation between our two countries, but also celebrate this occasion with the festival.”
The Sarang Festival started on Friday with a performance at the Hwaeomsa Temple in Gurye County in South Jeolla, and continued in Gimhae and Busan over the weekend.
The first performance in Seoul will take place Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Yonsei University in Seoul. Tickets can be purchased in advance on Ticket Link, at 1,000 won ($0.70) per person.
Performers, both Indian and Korean dancers, will perform Odissi, a classical dance of India originating from the eastern state of Odisha, as well as Kathak, another type of classical dance in India said to originate from areas in northern India including Uttar Pradesh.
“We have showcased different forms of Indian dances at the Sarang Festival,” said Sonu Trivedi, director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre of the Embassy of India in Seoul. “There were Bharatnatyam performances in 2019 and Kathak the year before, so this year we wanted to focus on another form of classical dance in India, the Odissi.”
Performers include Kunjalata Mishra, an Odissi dancer who currently teaches dance at Mewar University in Rajastan, Keum Bee-na, the first Korean to be an accomplished Odissi dancer, and Sonali Roy, a Kathak dancer who was trained by the Kathak legend Birju Maharaj, according to the Indian Embassy in Seoul.
Keum and Roy will perform together a fusion piece of Odissi and Kathak at Yonsei University on Tuesday.
The festival will also include musical performances by Indian and Korean musicians, including a concert of daegeum, the traditional Korean flute, janggu, the traditional Korean drum, with Indian string instruments tanpura and sarangi and Indian drums tabla.
The festival will continue at Seoul Sky of Lotte World Tower on Wednesday, and at the Cheongju National Museum in North Chungcheong on Thursday, then at the Yeongdong Nangye Gugak Festival in Yeongdong County, North Chungcheong on Friday.
The festival will continue on the Nami Island in Gangwon from Oct. 8 to 9 and conclude with performances at the East Asian Citizenship Education Grand Festival in Incheon from Oct. 13 to 14.
BY ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]