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Awards for Odissi icons

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OUR CORRESPONDENT   |   Published 29.08.13, 12:00 AM

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 28: The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra awards for 2013 will be conferred on two artistes — Guru Shankar Behera and Guru Ghanashyam Panda — for their contribution to the field of Odissi dance and music, respectively.

The five-day long awards festival, named after legendary Odissi exponent Kelucharan Mohapatra, will begin from September 5 at Rabindra Mandap.

Behera’s dancing career, spread over four decades, began under Kelucharan Mohapatra’s tutelage. Behera not only established himself as an exponent in his field, but also trained renowned dancers such as Protima Bedi, Jhelum Paranjape, Soma Anand, Shobha De, Jaya Dheer, Neetu Singh, Ila Dalal, Florida Devi and Sanjeevni Dutta.

Panda joined Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in 1965 and was trained under legends such as Guru Singari Shyam Sundar Kar, Nrusingha Nath Khuntia, Sangeet Sudhakar Balakrushna Das and Guru Gopal Chandra Panda. As solo and accompanying vocalist, he has extensively toured in India and abroad with Kelucharan Mohapatra and many other dancers. He has sung for 20 Odia films and one Hindi film and has significantly contributed to the growth of Odissi music.

“This was my father’s initiative to recognise the efforts and lifetime contribution of artistes or those related to various genres of culture. Already 41 luminaries in the artistes’ community have been awarded,” said Ratikant Mohapatra, festival organiser and son of Kelucharan Mohapatra.

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