The Khajuraho Dance Festival, organized by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, is a one-week festival of classical dances which is held annually against the spectacular backdrops of the magnificent world heritage, the Khajuraho Temple in Chhatarpur district of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The festival in 2019 was conducted in February from the 20th to 26th.

This cultural festival highlights the richness of the Indian Classical Dance styles such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Kathakali and Sattriya through the performances of some of the best exponents in said field. The Modern Indian Dances has been added recently.

Earlier the dances were performed in an open-air space, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (The Sun God) and the Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. But as it is declared as the world heritage site, the temple people are concerned upon its safety for its beautiful sculptures and against vandalism and the damage that might happen through the arrangements of high voltage lights used throughout the festivals days. Thus, the festival is celebrated in an area at the back of the temple from where the temple can be viewed and stage set could match with the temple that visually it cannot be distinguished as two different spaces.

The Sattriya dance performed by artistes from Assam

The Khajuraho Dance Festival 2019 included artists from Delhi, Kolkata, Assam, Bhubaneswar, Gwalior, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad, which included classical dance forms such as Sattriya, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Manipuri, Chhau, Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali and Kuchipudi. As usual, many foreigners joined into witnessed the solace and the magnificence of the event.

Samragyee Kashyap, Sattriya danseuse. PC: Samragyee Kashyap

This world-famous festival appreciates artistes from all over the states. All the 7 days went in a perfect and successful way and the graceful dancers beautifully performed their repertory, curating the Indian dances in their own unique ways. The whole scene reminds the history of India wherein the Rajas and the Maharajas used to watch and appreciate the beautiful performing arts tradition in their palace.