Bhubaneswar: After the resounding success of the inaugural evening of the 25th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2019 on September 5th, featuring performances by the celebrated Bhajan singer Anup Jalota, and Gunjan Dance Academy, the dance institution of senior Odissi exponent Meera Das, the festival moved into its second evening of classical dance and music.
The evening’s programme commenced with the traditional lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests of honour Adyasha Satpathy, CEO, OrissaPOST and Ratikant Mohapatra, Director, Srjan.
Following the set pattern for the Award Festival this year, the programme commenced with a music recital, followed by Odissi dance group presentation by two established institutions of Odisha. First was the Classical Music Fusion presentation by Flautist Paras Nath, Violinist Deepak Pandit, and ‘Mandolin’ Rajesh, accompanied on the Tabla by Prashant Sonagra. They began with a special tribute to the legendary maestro Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, in whose honour the festival is being organised.
The whole evening was based on a variety of classical ragas, a seamless amalgamation of neat articulations, and complex musical patterns. While grounded in the classical tradition, this quartet of musicians explored novel interpretations of the ragas and the highlight of their presentation was the final piece, set to Ragamaalika. A single composition featuring 14 different ragas, the piece began in the poignant afternoon Raga Bhimpalasi. Captivating the audience with their versatility and creative expression, Paras Nath, Deepak Pandit, U Rajesh and Prashant Sonagra, presented a striking and memorable creative collaboration of musical harmony.
After this stirring music performance was the Odissi group dance presentation by Suravi, led by Pitambar Biswal. They presented Suryashtaka, a hymn recited to Lord Surya to invoke blessings of good health, abundance and longevity. Invoking the Sun God to absolve mankind from suffering, and help us lead a prosperous and harmonious life, the dancers, with neat and fluid movements and good confidence, portrayed various facets of the Sun God and the Surya Pranam. Set to the music composition of Ramhari Das, the rhythm composition of Niranjan Patra, the original dance choreography is by Durga Charan Ranbir, adapted to a group composition by Pitambar Biswal.
The concluding presentation for the evening was Ahimsa: an Ode to the Father of the Nation by the dancers of Orissa Dance Academy. In this presentation, Gandhi’s life is woven as a poetic appliqué where his ideas and philosophy of life are showcased through music and dance. His ideas of truth, nonviolence, Swadeshi, Swaraj, and self-realization are taken as metaphors and the historical events symbolizing turning points in the life of a nation are used. Gandhi is not simply a political leader from history, but an idea that lives on forever, redeeming the darker side of humanity. Borrowing verses by acclaimed poets such as Narsi Meheto, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Harivanshrai Bachchan, and Radhamohan Gadanayak, the dancers exhibited refreshing grace and commendable stage presence, making Ahimsa a delightful encapsulation of a complex narrative. Scripted by Kedar Mishra, and set to the music composition of Ramhari Das, the dance choreography for this presentation was done by Aruna Mohanty.
The performances were aided by the brilliant light designing of Debi Prasad Mishra, and the able compering of Dr. Srinivas Ghatuary. Part of a seven-day celebration of classical dance and music, the third day of the Award Festival will feature Hindustani Music, with a Sarangi recital by Sabir Khan accompanied by Ishaan Ghosh on the table, a special solo recital by Smt. Niharika Mohanty, senior disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Odissi exponent and founder-director of Guru Shradha, California, USA, and a group Odissi dance performance by Rudrakshya Foundation, Bhubaneswar led by Bichitrananda Swain.