City airport hosts five-day dance festival

New Delhi, Nov. 16 -- You may have watched a dance performance at an auditorium, amphitheatre or stadium - now you can enjoy one while catching a flight. The Indira Gandhi Interna-tional Airport is hosting a five-day festival of classical and contemporary dance at Terminal 3. The private airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), believes that passengers should experience and carry home a slice of Indian culture and the dance festival is a part of such an initiative.

Makeshift stages have been created in the retail area of the domestic and international departure halls of Terminal 3 to host the event. The performances have been choreographed and performed by the Birju Maharaj Parampara, a dance troupe founded by Pandit Birju Maharaj. The event began on Wednesday and will continue on November 20, 21 and 22. The performances can be witnessed between 6am and 9am, and 5pm and 8pm at T3 domestic departures and between 12noon and 3pm, and 10pm-1am at T3 international departures.

The cultural extravaganza was inaugurated on Wednesday by Birju Maharaj's son, Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj. The festival would showcase a plethora of classical dance genres such as Kathak and Bharatnatyam along with regional dance forms including Haryanvi, Kalbelia, Chhau and Dandiya.

"This is the first time that any airport in India has undertaken an initiative of this kind to promote classical dances...Events like this also signify that travelling out of Delhi Airport is not merely catching a flight but an experience that one carries home," said DIAL's chief executive officer I Prabhakara Rao.

Speaking from the US, Pandit Birju Maharaj said, "I have performed across the world at varied venues with my troupe but this is surely the first time that a Birju Maharaj Parampara troupe will be performing at an airport. I am happy that such a step has been taken by the airport authorities. This will go a long way in promoting Indian culture at what is surely the new Gateway of India."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.