Musical tribute to Odissi guru - Exponents to get awards at end of three-day festival

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 31.10.13
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Artistes of Tridhara perform a group Odissi recital and (below) Saeed Zafar Khan plays sitar at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Sanjib Mukherjee

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 30: Musicians and dancers are performing in memory of the late Odissi exponent Guru Debaprasad Das at a three-day event organised by cultural group Tridhara at Rabindra Mandap here.

On the first evening on Monday, the show started with a group Odissi recital.

The sequence, Gananayaka Panchakam, was dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Veteran singer and composer Prafulla Kar rendered the music, while his son Mahaprasad Kar lent voice to the song for the dance item.

While the script was by Nityananda Mishra, Dhaneswar Swain directed the instrumental music and Guru Gajendra Panda was the choreographer.

This was followed by a solo sitar recital by Saeed Zafar Khan.

He began playing at a slow pace and gradually went on strum strings rapidly.

The audience liked the rhythmic synchronisation of sitar with the beats of tabla played by Rashid Zafar Khan.

On Tuesday, a solo repertoire by Anita Ratnam in the genre of contemporary dance was thoroughly enjoyed by the viewers. Sashadhar Acharya, a well-known name in Chhau dance, staged a Sareikela style of Chhau that depicted the victory of good over evil. It received a series of applause from the audience.

“It has been long that we saw contemporary dance and Chhau of Sareikela. Both the dancers were remarkable on stage,” said Bibhu Patnaik, a viewer.

The festival will conclude on Tuesday evening when the 7th Guru Debaprasd Awards would be presented to Guru Sudhakar Sahoo for Odissi, Geeta Chandran for Bharatnatyam and both Anita Ratnam and Sashadhar Acharya for contribution in their respective fields.

“Guru Debaprasad Das was the first to conduct an Odissi recital in the national capital in the formative years of the dance form for its stage avatar. This was way back in 1954. His contribution to the dance is immense. His distinct style or gharana is his gift to Odissi. As his disciples we host the festival to pay homage to him,” said dancer Gajendra Panda, one of the organisers.