Pune Festival is all set to feature a host of exciting events to mark its silver jubilee celebrations. The ten-day festival will kick off on September 9 at Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch.
The festival will be inaugurated by Kalpil Sibal, Union Minister for Communication, IT, Law and Justice, Daniele Mancini, Ambassador of Italy, Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister for Tourism, Maharashtra, Narayan Rane, Minister for Industry, Patangrao Kadam, Minister for Forests, and Harshvardhan Patil, Minister for Co-operation among others.
The programme will start with a dance ballet titled Ganesh Vandana, conceptualised by actor Hema Malini, who has also been appointed as the chairperson of the festival’s silver jubilee committee. The actor will perfom Radha Raasbihari along with her daughters and troupe on September 14.
“The dance sequence was performed at ISCKON temple at Juhu on the eve of Janamasthami last night,” said Malini.
“Organising a festival like this year after year is not an easy task. Many people organise fancy festivals but give up after managing to organise just two or three editions. My association with Pune Festival goes back 20 years, when I used to perform Bharatnatyam pieces,” she added.
All-star event titled Panchtatva will also be performed during the inauguration. The programme will feature veteran musicians Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia, Selva Ganesha, U Srinivas, Shridhar Parthasarthi, Ramkumar Mishra and Subhankar Banerajee. This will be followed by a Bollywood musical featuring popular vocalists like Shaan, Akriti Kakkad and Bela Shende among others. Mimicry artist Sunil Pal will also take the stage. A special photo exhibition will be organised to showcase the history of the festival besides a painting exhibition by women artists.
“Since the ban on bullock cart race has been revoked, we are excited about organising it. Till now, over 1,200 carts have registered for the race,” said Krishnakant Kudale, Chief Coordinator. Other sports events will include a golf tournament, boxing tournament and a roll ball competition.
The Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal will organise the bullock cart race. On the occasion, Narendra Singh, CMD, Bank of Maharashtra, will be felicitated with the Pune Festival Award.
The grand finale will feature a choreography by Nikita Moghe to be be performed by actors Isha Kopikar, Urmila Matolkar, Varsha Usgaonkar, Sharvari Jamenis, Tejaswini Lonari and others.