Bargarh: The role play during the 11-day-long Bargarh Dhanu Jatra will see new faces this year with the Artiste Coordination Committee planning to conduct auditions for selection of the artistes.
The festival, which is considered as the largest open air theatre of the world spread over five sq km, is scheduled to begin from December 31.
Dhanu Yatra Mahotsav Samiti convener Sureswar Satpathy said the committee will hold its meeting in this regard on Monday.
However, Bhubaneswar Pradhan, who has been playing main protagonist King Kansa, may not be replaced.
“The artiste picked for the role of Kansa essays the part for a minimum of three years. Since Pradhan has been donning the part for two years after an audition in 2017, the committee will decide on whether to bring in an early change this year or not,” Satpathy said.
Except for Kansa, audition for other characters was held five years ago. “Audition ministers of Kansa, chief commanders of the demon king, Devaki, Basudev and Ugrasen will be held this time,” he added.
Dhanu Jatra is believed to have started after Independence to celebrate the fall of British imperialism. The premise of the festival is to show the defeat of evil over good. The cultural extravaganza is a visual delight with different episodes being depicted frame by frame, beginning with wedding of Kansa’s sister Devaki with Basudev followed by his accession to throne, dethroning his father Ugrasen and concludes with the death of the demon king at the hands of his nephew Lord Krishna.
During those 11 days, Bargarh turns into Mathura and Ambapali situated across the Jeera river becomes Gopapur. This river dividing the two towns assumes the role of the Yamuna.