The annual Konark festival got off to a glittering start this evening. The five-day dance festival opened near the world famous Sun Temple of Konark with Odissi recital by the dancers of Nupur Dance Academy of Bhubaneswar under the tutelage of Niranjan Rout and group. The opening show was followed by a scintillating performance by a dance troupe from Malaysia, The Temple of Fine Arts, which staged a Bharatanatyam recital. Ten popular Indian classical dance troupes from India and abroad are going to perform at the backdrop of the majestic Sun Temple during the festival, officials said. A major attraction will be a show by Malaysia-based Odissi dancer Ramli Ibrahim who will stage his production 'Ganjam' on December 3, he said. Twenty-four member troupe of Ibrahim's Sutra Foundation are slated to present a composition inspired by folk dances and music traditions of culturally rich Ganjam district of Odisha. Coinciding with the dance extravaganza, an International Sand Art Festival also opened at Chandrabhaga beach in Konark. Eight globally acclaimed sand sculptors and 62 national artists are exhibiting their works in the festival. Odisha Tourism Development Corporation has designed special tour packages for the festival, the state government official said. Visitors can undertake package trips to Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri, Raghurajpur craft village and also Chilika lake, he added.
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