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Collage of solo recitals

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: The Bharat Muni festival — a concert of solo dance performances by well-known classical dancers — organised by Kalingayana Touryatrikam has begun in the city with performances of Odissi and Bharatnatyam.

The three-day festival that began yesterday evening at Rabindra Mandap will confer the Bharat Muni award to Bollywood actress Hema Malini.

Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty, in her abhinaya, Bhumi Suta, portrayed the tale of the strength and perseverance of Sita with emotive excellence.

The recital depicts episodes of Sita’s life in the jungle, her abduction and later rejection by the public. The dancer had also presented an invocatory piece Shakti Bahu Roopa, dedicated to the feminine aspect of divinity on the famous ancient shloka Aigiri Nandini.

Later, Bharatnatyam artiste Padmashree Geeta Chandran presented an elaborate repertoire. First, she presented the Chokkanathar kavuthvam that traced the folk and rural images of Lord Shiv and illustrated the different facets of the Lord be it his composed mood or fury or even the Lord of Goddess Meenakshi.

Just as Aruna, Geeta, too, paid tribute to Shakti. The Bharatnatyam dancer presented Devi shlokam. The highlight of the recital was the famous composition of Gopalkrishna Bharati that described the comic dance of Shiv on raga Vasantham and adi talam. Geeta concluded her recital with Sankeertan Vanamali Vasudeva.

“It is an overwhelming experience for me to dance in Odisha before a culturally well-versed audience,” said the dancer.

The evening concluded with a Hindustani vocal recital by Kumud Diwan, who regaled the viewers with a number of devotional compositions.

Well-known dancers and artistes, including celebrated Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh, graced the event.

“I am here especially to watch Aruna dancing. It has always been delightful for me to be in Bhubaneswar. I will be back in a couple of weeks for the Odissi festivals scheduled for this month,” she said.

The audience enjoyed the solo recitals presented at the concert that will conclude on December 18.

“Despite a plethora of Odissi events, we hardly get a chance to watch eminent dancers performing solo. It was good to see Aruna Mohanty presenting a solo recital after a long time in her city. We would love to see her solo performances more often,” said Arpita Biswal, a viewer.