Bhubaneswar, May 7: Jharial, the fourth all-India classical music and dance festival, returned with the light strumming of sitar and some sonorous ragas at Jayadev Bhavan auditorium on Sunday. Providing a fitting end to the evening was an engaging Odissi recital.
Jharial, an endeavour by Balangir-based Kalashree Art Academy, was an attempt to recognise the vastness of Odissi music and dance. Gracing the occasion were four ace artistes of the state, whose performances were appreciated by the audience.
Jeevan Prakash Das’s camaraderie with his sitar was evident in both of his compositions. In his 45-minute performance Das, accompanied by tabla player Sandeep Rout, presented raga Maru Bihag and Misra Pilu. The fusion of tabla and sitar was enchanting and both musicians showed their strong foothold in their respective instruments. Das is also a regular face in most of the international festivals in Australia, France, Malaysia, China and others places.
After Das’ performance, Rout carried on with his solo compositions. He performed a piece on ektaal. His swift hand movements and control of the beats were commendable.
The evening then switched from music to vocals. Classical singer Prashant Kumar Samal performed on raga Jaijaiwanti based on ektaal. He sang on Naivedya bhakti geet and was accompanied by Baikunthanath Satpathy on the harmonium.
An Odissi dance recital was left for the end. Noted Odissi dancer Itishree Mohanty regaled the audience with her solo ashtapadi. Choreographed by Govinda Sudhakar Sahu, the recital spoke about Radha’s conversation with her sakhis (friends). Here, Radha recollects the memorable days she had spent with Lord Krishna and also shows her grief when Krishna eludes her and romances other women.
After the solo recital, Mohanty and her group presented Shiv Astaka, where the dancers gave a vivid description of Lord Shiv’s eight avatars. The intricate steps and the expressions of the dancers were in sync.
Although the event lacked the glamour and grandeur of many musical festivals these days, the soulful music and Odissi dance performance made up for that. “All the performances deserve a big round of applause. There is so much soul and life in Odissi classical. We should make more effort to spread it,” said Bhanushree Rath, a spectator.