Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Convention Centre (IECC) 'Bharat Mandapam' at Pragati Maidan on Wednesday (26 July), amid a grand cultural presentation by over 1,000 artists.
Visioned by the Prime Minister and developed as a national project at a cost of about Rs 2,700 crore, the new IECC complex at Pragati Maidan will help in promoting India as a global business destination.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister initiated his speech with a poem to indicate the new enthusiasm and mood of the nation. He said, “Bharat Mandapam is a call for India’s capabilities and new energy of the nation, it is a philosophy of India’s grandeur and willpower.”
The much awaited event was unfolded with the participation of around 1,250 artists from across the nation performing various forms of traditional dances.
Performances involving traditional musical instruments Nadaswaram, Thavil, Panchavadyam, Chenda, Dappu, Lezim, Nashik Dhol, Gujarat Dhol, Chattri, Dhak Dhol, Nagara, Shankh, and Ghanta, etc., formed part of the event that brought out the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
More than 300 school children from Vidya Bharti sang “Ananda Loke” by Rabindranath Tagore as part of the Foyer performances.
The stage performances enthralled the audience and included Dhrupad by Sammit Mallik and group; a confluence of Indian classical dances — Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odishi; Siddhi Dhamal; Dholu Kunita; Bihu; Baredi; Odishi dance by Padmashree Madhavi Mudgal and group; mask dance (Purulia Chhau); and Kathak by repertory artists and students of Kathak Kendra.
There was an enervating fifteen-minute performance ‘Ojasvi’ before the Prime Minister presenting choreographic dance presentation on the music of Shankar Mahadevan and Ricky Kej — Surya, Ganesha and Nataraja incorporating Chhau, Kathak, Odisshi, Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance forms by Santosh Nair and his Sadya group from Delhi.
‘Dhanya Bharatam’ song in Hindi language rendered in Powada or Marathi folk singing style by Shri Nandesh Vatsala Vitthal Umap (Sangeet Natak Akademi Yuva awardee), accompanied by about 20 dancers representing various folk and major performing art forms, imbued everybody with a sense of patriotism.
There were also about 28 spot performances featuring various folk and tribal art forms of the country creating a carnival-like atmosphere all around the Bharat Mandapam.
The Convention Centre is developed as the centre-piece of the Pragati Maidan complex. It is a grand architectural marvel, designed to host large-scale international exhibitions, trade fairs, conventions, conferences, and other prestigious events.
It is equipped with multiple meeting rooms, lounges, auditoriums, an amphi-theatre and a business centre making it capable of hosting a wide range of events.
Its majestic multi-purpose hall and plenary hall have a combined capacity of seven thousand people, which is larger than the seating capacity of the famous Sydney Opera House in Australia. Its magnificent amphi-theatre is equipped with a seating capacity of 3,000 individuals.
There was a flute ensemble after the havan, rendered by Chetan Joshi, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, and his group, which set the tone for the day’s events. Around 150 of the invited artists attended the havan.
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