Rabindra dance marathon lands her in Guinness book

April 26th, 2012 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, April 26 (IANS) A woman from Assam claims to have made it to the Guinness Book of World Records along with her troupe for the “longest Rabindra dance marathon” that saw them perform non-stop for 25 hours and 25 minutes.

Sonali Acharjee, who hails from Assam’s Hailakandi district in Barak Valley but is based in Hyderabad after marriage, says the Guinness authorities have certified the performance by her and 25 members of her troupe, the Sonali Academy of Fine Arts.

They performed before Guinness representatives Feb 1 and Feb 2 this year at the Rabindra Bharathi in Hyderabad and she received the certificate April 7.

“The performance started at 5.45 p.m. Feb 1 and continued till about 7.10 p.m. the next day,” Sonali told the media here Thursday.

Assam Minister for Irrigation and Soil Conservation Ardhendu Kumar Dey lauded the effort and said she is the pride of not only Assam but the whole country. “She is the pride of the entire country. It is our moral responsibility to support her and her effort,” he said.

The troupe performed the four most celebrated Dance Ballets of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore - “Chitrangada”, “Chandalika”, “Shyama” and “Bhanu Singher Padavali”.

The performance, choreographed by Sonali, included music composed by Tagore and was presented in seven Indian classical dance forms in seven languages, she said.

“I played the lead role while performing all the four ballets and the rest of the members of the troupe supported me,” she said.

“We wanted to pay a rich tribute to the Nobel laureate on his 150th birth anniversary by organising a Rabindra Nrityotsav (dance festival). The programme was recorded by Guinness authorities as part of the Rabindra Nrityotsav,” she said.

The programme was organised in collaboration with the government of Andhra Pradesh.

The rest of the troupe included artists from states like West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and also from other countries like France Germany, Japan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“It was the experience of a lifetime for me and the troupe. The most difficult part of the performance was changing the roles in all the four dance ballets. As per Guinness rules, we get only 18 seconds to change roles. However, we managed to do it within the stipulated time,” said Sonali.

Sonali, who aims to open a state-of-the-art dance institute in Guwahati to help interested people pursue dance as a career, also revealed that she had been contacted by the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games for a performance in the London Olympics.

“They have contacted me through the Guinness authorities and it will be a dream come true to perform during the inauguration ceremony of the Olympics. However, nothing has been finalised so far,” she said.

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