Bhubaneswar: Filled with colour and grace, the grandeur of Odissi dance reverberated in Kalinga Stadium here as a sea of dancers attempted to create a world record on Friday.
For 28-minutes non-stop, 555 dancers, from five countries trained by 30 gurus stunned the thousands-strong audience with their expressive eyes, spectacular movements and soulful expression, the essence of the classical dance form. "I think we have made it. I feel privileged to be part of this historic moment," said a nostalgic Kunjalata Mishra, a student of Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, from Vrindaban. "It was once-in-a-lifetime experience. Awesome," said Maria Valdez, a student of Guru Ratikant Mahapatra, from Peru. Besides India and Peru, dancers from France, USA and Japan also participated in the mega event.
To create a Guinness World Record (GWR), 500 Odissi dancers needed to perform together continuously for five minutes. "But that the gathered people actually performed Odissi will be assessed by independent jury members, eminent danseuse Aruna Mohanty and dance critic Leela Venkatraman, before GWR considers the performance for record," said NIranjan Tripathy, who coordinated the event with GWR. Besides watching the show, the jury members will also go through the video-footage for their opinion. In a similar event of Kuchipudi, organised in Hyderabad last year, 2,800 Kuchipudi dancers had danced their way to the Guinness world record by their 20-minute performance. "This (world record) would be a remarkable achievement," said culture director Sushil Kumar Das.
Dressed in five colours and combining the dance form as taught by the three gurus of the gurus - Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mahapatra and Debaprasad Das - the cosmopolitan platform had so many of them so immensely gifted. World record or not, the future of Odissi is in safe hands! Mangalacharan, Pallavi, Sthayi, Abhinaya -- the four superstructures of Odissi -- were on display with elegance in the splendid concept developed by gurus Ramhari Das, Durga Charan Ranbir, Aruna Mohanty and Dr Sangita Gosain.
Guru Somnath Pradhan, whose students were among the participants in the show, said the common international platform has taken the glory of Odissi to a new height. "The Odissi dancers had exposures to all styles of Odissi being practised in every corner of the world. There was no such interaction earlier," Pradhan said.