Upping its ante against the prevalence of raunchy dance performances on the occasion of the annual Sital Sasthi celebrations, the coordination committee of the festival ordered against such performances during the week-long festival, to be held from May 21 to 27 in Sambalpur.
Instead, folk dances of Rajasthan, Assam, Bihar and Chhattisgarh would be prime attractions of the festival, the committee said while speaking to media persons on Friday night. “We will not allow any vulgar dance performances during Sital Sasthi. We have asked the administration to take action against yatra committees in case they find any vulgarity during the festival,” said Sital Sasthi Yatra Joint Coordination Committee president Amulya Mishra.
The week-long summer carnival depicts the marriage ceremony of Shiva and Parvati as per Hindu rituals. Each yatra committee selects a couple to play parents of Parvati to perform the marriage like of their own daughter. Thousands of devotees throng the town to witness it.
The concluding street procession of the divine couple the following day of the marriage, however, is the most attractive part of the festival. Yatra committees invite various dance troupes and dancers from various parts of the country to accompany the procession..
Over the past few years, the yatra committees have come under criticism for promoting vulgar dances during the street procession. Individuals and various organizations have appealed to the administration to take stringent action to abolish such practice. Sources said the administration has decided to take stringent action against yatra committees, who are found to promote vulgar dances during the festival.