BHUBANESHWAR: Renowned artistes are paying tributes to Odissi doyen Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra at the annual dance festival being hosted by Srjan at Rabindra Mandap in the city.
Hindu mythology have always been fascinating grounds for reinterpretations in classical dance forms. Some of these interesting reinterpretations are a part of this year's Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Awards Festival, a five-day affair celebrating classical dances and music of the country.
Danseuse Rajashri Praharaj opened the festival, organised by Srjan, on September 5 with episodes from Ramayana. She staged abhinaya 'Sita Harana' that was choreographed by the legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra to the music composition of Bhubaneswar Mishra. After a recital of 'Hamsadhwani Pallavi' set to Raga Hamsadhwani on ektaal, Rajashri portrayed the characters of Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Ravan and Jatayu, effortlessly, bringing to fore the emotional depth of each character. She was accompanied by Ratikant Mohapatra on mardala, Ramesh Chandra Das and Agnimitra Behera on the violin, Srinibas Satapathy on the flute and Rupak Kumar Parida on vocals.
The evening saw another interesting 'jugalbandi' of Carnatic music by husband-wife duo of Jayanthi Kumaresh on the veena and R Kumaresh on the violin. Considered celebrated instrumentalists in the Carnatic music scene, the artistes captivated the audience with a soulful duet accompanied by Jayachandra Rao and Krishnaswami Sankararaman on the mridangam and ghatam respectively. Their captivating rendition of Indian classical music, exploring the intricacies of both instruments, showed their expertise in their respective fields.
A vocal recital by Parthasarathi aka Baboo Panigrahi and a Kuchipudi duet by Vyjayanthi and Prateeksha Kashi marked day two of the fest. Carrying forward the legacy of Suramani Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi and Sanjukta Panigrahi, Baboo enthralled connoisseurs of Odissi music with 'Srita Kamala', 'Mamiyam Chalita Vilokya' and 'Dheera Samire', 'Ashtapadis' from the Geeta Govinda. He was accompanied by Bibhu Prasad Tripathy on the keyboard, Dushmant Parida on percussion and Rabi Narayan Barik on cymbals.
Depiction of Vatsalya Rasa (relationship between parents and the children) by Bengaluru-based Kuchipudi dancers Vyjayanthi Kashi and her daughter Prateeksha Kashi through three dance presentations was the highlight of the evening. They began with Vatsalya Rasa between God and devotee through the story of Narasimha and Prahlad. Taken from the Krishna Leela Tarangini, a Sanskrit opera authored by Narayana Teertha, the piece highlighted the theatrical aspects of Kuchipudi with a seamless blend of Nritya, Nritta and Natya in the depiction of the Rasa between Narayana (Narasimha) and his devotee Prahlad through different experiences in his life.
The second piece was 'Jagadoddharana', a popular composition portraying the Vatsalya Rasa between mother and son. Although Yashoda is not the actual mother of Krishna, her unconditional motherly love for him was brought out beautifully by Vyjayanthi.
In their final presentation, Bhumi Sita that was specially choreographed for the festival, they showed the relationship between mother and daughter, narrating the feelings of Bhumi towards her daughter Sita through the various phases of her life, her marriage to Lord Ram and especially during her final wish to return to the womb of her mother. Accompanied by a flawless live orchestra with Aishwariya Nityananda and Akhila Pajimanu on the vocals, Shashishankara Bhadrachar on the mridangam, Jayaram KS on the flute, Vishwanath NV on the violin and Anil Iyer on the natuvangam, the experience of Vyjayanthi and energy of Prateeksha made performances an aesthetic delight for the audience.
On Friday, Agam, a Bengaluru-based Carnatic progressive band that has made a mark in the Indie music scene, presented a unique blend of Carnatic music and rock riff. This year, the festival features seven artistes, Agam music band and two dance recitals by Srjan’s own repertoire group, said director of Srjan, Ratikanta. On Saturday, Kathak dancer Rajendra Gangani and Carnatic violinist Ambi Subramaniam will perform.
This year, eminent Odissi dancer Guru Lingaraj Behera and theatre artiste Satchi Das will receive the NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2018 on Sunday for their contribution to the fields of dance and theatre respectively. NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman will be presented to both Sonali Mohapatra and Kolkata’s Srisubikash Mukherjee for Odissi dance, Swati Sinha for Kathak and Rohan Suresh Dahale for Odissi music (Mardala).
The festival was started as a single-day event in 1995. The highlight of the concluding day would be special presentations ‘Kirvani Madhurima’ and ‘Maati’ by dancers of the host organisation. The choreography for both the dance items has been done by Ratikanta.