Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: A group of 80 artistes from Odisha will perform Bajasal, a popular tribal folk dance of Kalahandi district, at this year's Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

The Bajasal dancers from Pratibha Anusthan of Kalahandi, led by the chief of the institution, Guru Dhyanananda Panda, will leave for the national capital tomorrow (Sunday) and start rehearsal for the big event.

Expressing happiness after getting the opportunity to perform at the R-Day march past, Guru Dhyanananda Panda said Odisha is the only state from Eastern India to showcase its tribal dance this year.

"It is a proud moment for all of us as we got the chance to do something for our district. We will reach Delhi on January 4 and report in the evening. We will start rehearsal from the next day and perform on the Republic Day," Panda said.

Other participants are also overwhelmed after being selected to showcase the folk dance on the grand stage.

"We have already performed at national and international events many times. However, it is certainly a matter of immense happiness and pride to perform during the Republic Day. We had given an audition for the event in Kolkata and were selected to perform at Rajpath. I thank my guru for the opportunity," said Mandakini Banua, an artiste.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)