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Dance bells resound at Mukteshwar temple

- Odissi artistes present spectacular choreographies on mythological tales at festival

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: Odissi dancers lit up the atmosphere of Mukteshwar temple at its annual dance extravaganza that started on Tuesday evening.

Hosted by Odisha tourism department, Mukteshwar Dance Festival saw an array of impressive performances on the inaugural day.

The festival got off to a spiritual start with a musical item dedicated to Lord Shiv, the reigning deity of the temple. In this musical presentation, students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya performed Shiva Tandava. Senior Odissi vocalist Sangeeta Gosain composed the chorus. Odissi dance was presented in three segments — solo, duet and group recitals.

Aruna Mohanty, a well-known exponent and dance guru, presented a repertoire that included Rudra Managala wherein the Lord was hailed in His three avatars. The first one was Shiva, the kind and benevolent, the second Rudra Mahakala, the supreme destroyer, and the third Nataraja, the passionate dancer.

Later on, she also enacted the touching tale of Sita in Bhumi Suta, an abhinaya. The dance item was choreographed by Mohanty and the music composition was by Bijaya Kumar Barik and Rupak Kumar Parida.

Two girls trained by dancer Meera Das presented an enjoyable duet. The dancers Lopamudra Jena and Pushpa Panda matched their feet and complimented each other during the rhythmic sequence Desh Pallavi on raga Desh and taal Roopak. Although, there were moments when their synchronisation missed out on a few steps, the duo was a spectacle indeed. The abhinaya on Krishna’s brave accounts had a range of expressions from romantic, coy to anger and victorious that the girls presented impressively.

Artistes of the Nupur Dance Institute also showcased group choreography. After beginning with a mangalacharan or invocatory piece dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the artistes presented an abhinaya on the song Ahe Shiva Gouri tume and also presented a pure dance item based on Khamaj Pallavi. The 10th century temple was decked up on the occasion. Despite some empty seats at the far end, the event recorded a good footfall.

“Some of the recitals were fascinating. But we hope to see more artistes from Cuttack, Puri and other regions who are senior dancers but never get a chance to perform on this stage,” said Binayak Dash, a local resident of Old Town.

The three-day fest will conclude on Friday evening.