The 56th Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit started with a very good score with more than 60 visitors turning up including 27 foreigners including 16 from Australia, two from France, one from Romania and eight Odissi dancers from California, USA. People from three continents were there at a single city-based heritage event in the Temple City of India, perhaps for the first time.
Among others, there were people from all walks of like, but also people from Armed forces and bankers did join the weekly heritage walk showcasing the rich heritage of the Old City and enjoyed every bit of it including an Odissi recital at Art Vision, the dance institute of renowned Odissi and Chhow dance Guru Ileana Citaristi.
Col Bijayananda Pattanaik, Station Staff Officer at Military Station Bhubaneswar and his wife Lipishree Pattnaik were highly impressed with the walk and especially Mrs Pattanaik as she was a trained dancer herself and were learning the steps with Ileana Citaristi during her early days from their Guru.
Neera Prasad, a retired Banker from Bangaluru, who came for the heritage walk with her fellow workers was very happy after the day’s experience. “I have visited the city for five times including this time, but this unique experience would be engraved in my heart forever,” she said.
The students team of 18 from Australia and France came from School of Vocational Education and Training at Centurion University of Technology and Management (CUTM) in the city and they are all will stay here for two months for their internship programme. The students were accompanied by Amiya Singh, Dean SoVET, CUTM.
Jasmine Garnet-Carroll from Melbourne said “this was a fantastic experince and the beautiful monuments impressed me like anything. We would be happy to have more such experince in future.”
The eight member Odissi team from California was there at Ekamra Walks under the leadership of Revital Carroll, who has an experince of 20 years in Odissi.
“We have visited the Monks, Caves and Kings Heritage Walk at the Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves yesterday and today we were at the Old Town circuit. As we are here to trace the origin and the different aspects of the Classical dance form, today’s tour was indeed a great learning lesson for all of us. We will be learning other things like how the ornaments are made, how the sarees worn by the dancers weaved, how the decorative headgear or `tahia’ is made and all our team members will visit the places with me to learn them,’’ said Revital, who runs a dance institute Shakti Bhakti in California.