Marking 50 years, Khajuraho Dance Festival celebrates heritage with record-breaking Kathak performances and beyond

This year, the festival promises a week-long spectacle from February 20 to 25
In frame: Performers at Khajuraho Dance Festival
In frame: Performers at Khajuraho Dance Festival

The rhythm of tradition echoed through the ancient temples of Khajuraho as the 50th Khajuraho Dance Festival kicked off in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday. Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, alongside dignitaries, officially inaugurated the prestigious event, marking a golden jubilee steeped in art, culture, and a touch of world record-breaking brilliance.
Founded in 1975, the festival has become a cornerstone of India’s cultural landscape, organised by the Culture Department and Ustad Alauddin Khan Music and Art Academy. This year, it promises a week-long spectacle from February 20 to 25, unfolding on the grand Muktakashi stage nestled within the Western Temple Group Complex.

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As curtains rose, an Odissi Shastri dance dedicated to Lord Shiva set the tone, mesmerising audiences with its graceful movements and spiritual essence. But the highlight of the opening ceremony was undoubtedly the Kathak Kumbh, where a staggering 1484 dancers captivated the world stage and etched their names in the Guinness World Records. Their synchronised performance amidst the majestic temples painted a picture of vibrant energy and cultural celebration, surpassing the previous record of 1204 participants.
From Kathak’s rhythmic power to the elegance of Bharatanatyam, the festival promises a diverse repertoire of classical dances. Renowned artistes from across the country will grace the stage, captivating audiences with their interpretations of India's rich cultural heritage.

The Khajuraho Dance Festival isn’t just a celebration of art; it’s a powerful platform for tourism, attracting visitors from around the world to witness the confluence of culture and history. As dancers pirouette against the backdrop of ancient temples, the festival serves as a vibrant reminder of India’s timeless traditions and the enduring power of artistic expression.

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