Curtains on music, dance festival

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 14.09.11
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Srjan members perform a dance composition named Ravana at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 13: The 17th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival, which saw stunning performances by renowned artistes for the last five days, concluded on Sunday evening. The Rabindra Mandap auditorium was packed to the full by music and dance lovers throughout the festival that had transformed the city into a cultural paradise.

While eminent artistes like Jagjit Singh, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Kumkum Mohanty, Uma Dogra, Pandit Bhawani Shankar, Pandit Kumar Bose and many others regaled viewers on the first three days, it was Sunanda Nayar’s Mohiniattam and Kala Ramnath’s violin recital that weaved magic on Saturday evening.

Nayar’s vibrant rendition of the Ramayana bedazzled viewers as the danseuse elegantly portrayed the mythological epic. Her immaculate expressions were magnetising and gave the well-known tale a unique freshness.

Ramnath, who has always been able to captivate her listeners in Bhubaneswar, once again enthralled them with a brilliant rendition. She performed raga Bihag on bilambit and dhrut taal. Tabla player Mohammed Akram Khan left the audience in awe with his amazing spontaneity. After the violin rendition, the viewers requested Ramnath, also a wonderful singer, to present a vocal item to which the violinist obliged.

The performances were not only thrilling but also let the viewers forget worldly worries and take a plunge in the magic world of classical music and dance.

The concluding day was another delightful evening for the viewers when artistes from Srjan, which had organised the festival, showcased their novel Odissi composition Ravana. Choreographed by Odissi guru Ratikant Mohapatra, the dance drama presented a unique aspect of the mythological antagonist from Ramayana. It showcased how an intellectual and learned Ravana wished for a death in Rama’s hands and thus plotted various misdeeds like Sita harana.

Ace dancer Sujata Mohapatra performed Sita with flawless finesse while Ratikant played Ravana with exquisite intensity. The music composed by Manmohan Acharya was entrancing as was vocalist Debasish Sarkar.

“This novel aspect of Ravana’s life was very touching and performed in a beautiful manner. We would like to watch the composition again in the city,” said Sasmita Biswal, a viewer.

Apart from the performance, the highlight of the final day was the award ceremony when chief minister Naveen Patnaik presented the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra awards for the year to veteran actress Gloria Mohanty and dancer Kumkum Mohanty.