Bhubaneswar, July 11: Students of late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan celebrated his 64th birth anniversary with a fitting cultural homage on Tuesday.
A number of dance renditions in Odissi were staged at Rabindra Mandap on the occasion to pay a tribute to the stalwart who conceptualised mega Odissi dance concerts.
The artistes from Konark Natya Mandap started off with a devotional tribute to Lord Jagannath which was followed by invocation of Lord Shiv, describing the various moods and virtues of the deity.
After these invocatory dance pieces, other genres of Odissi were presented on stage by the young artistes. In the Shudha Nrutya segment, a pleasant depiction of Rageshri pallavi to ek taali, that involved a string of aesthetic dance movements of Odissi to the beats of the mardala (traditional percussion instrument), was appreciated by the enthusiasts in the auditorium.
The most applauded piece of the evening, the Dasabatara Krishnaya tubhyam namah showcased the 10 different avatars of Lord Vishnu with dancers presenting the tales associated with each form of the Lord.
Another striking performance of the event was a Gotipua presented by little dancers from the Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Foundation.
The boys, dressed as women, showed remarkable balance and graceful movements while performing to Gane narayane rudre ambike that eulogised the different manifestations of the divine.
Students of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan perform Odissi at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati
A folk dance piece Mun e matira chasi based on the lifestyle of farmers of Odisha, was also presented by another group of dancers. Badya pallavi, a dance piece that focuses on the music of various traditional instruments such as mardala, flute and cymbals on which intricate steps were displayed by the dancers, also impressed the audience.
An abhinya or dance based on an expressive enactment Jhulanti range rai sange depicted the romance between Radha and Krishna.
Most of the sequences performed during the cultural evening were choreographed by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, which were reproduced on stage by the artistes.
One of the prominent figures of Odissi dance, Guru Pradhan devoted his life to the promotion of the dance form. Today we got to see a glimpse of his works again even in his absence. It was a fitting tribute, said musician Ramhari Das, the chief executive officer of the Odissi Research Centre, which organised the programme along with the Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Foundation and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi.