Bhubaneswar: Srjan, as a premier cultural institution of the nation, recognizes the need to sustain creative energy and artistic endeavour while fulfilling its social responsibility to the public and the members of the Art fraternity. This year, owing to the exigencies of the ongoing pandemic, Srjan is organising the 26th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival from September 5th to September 9th, 2020 at 8 p.m. on a digital platform, premiered on Facebook Live and YouTube. September 5th marked the commencement of the Award Festival. Upholding their commitment towards diligence and professional excellence in their service of art, the programme was seamlessly conducted on the online platforms.
Srjan dedicated this year’s festival in memory of the late Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj, who shared a special and close association with Guruji for many decades, and to Shri Jaydev Das, veteran director of theatre, actor, light designer and member of the advisory board of Srjan trust, who left for his heavenly abode in March this year. The event was officially inaugurated by veteran actress and Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Mathura), Smt. Hema Malini with a digital message. It was also attended virtually by several dignitaries, influential citizens, and luminaries from the world of Art. The programmes were conducted with strict adherence to all the government mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines, while maintaining the required social distancing norms.
Each day features a classical dance presentation followed by a classical music recital, designed with an eye on the most suitable combination of artistes and genre. The festival commenced with an Odissi recital by Smt. Madhusmita Mohanty, renowned Odissi dancer and performer from Bhubaneswar. She presented three dance pieces from the traditional Odissi repertoire, beginning with a Mangalacharan, invoking the blessings of Lord Jagannath for an auspicious beginning. The presentation was choreographed by Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty, set to the music composition of Dr. Bijay Kumar Jena and rhythm composition of Guru Dhaneswar Swain and Guru Bijay Kumar Barik.
This was followed by a timeless and evergreen composition of the legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra set to the music composition of Pt. Bhubaneswar Mishra— Kirwani Pallavi, in Raag Kirwani and Khemta Taal. She concluded her recital with the Ashtapadi – “Mādhave, mā kuru mānini mānam aye,” an excerpt from poet Shri Jayadeva’s Geeta Govinda. In this expressive piece, the sakhi pleads with Radha to forgive Madhava for his wanton ways and reunite with him. Choreographed by Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty to the music composition of Dr. Subash Pani, this presentation was in Raag Saveri and Ekatali.
With her graceful movements and captivating expressions, Smt. Madhusmita Mohanty presented a befitting and memorable opening recital. In her presentations, she was ably accompanied on the vocals by Shri Rupak Kumar Parida, on the Mardala by Guru Bijay Kumar Barik, on the flute by Shri Srinibas Satapathy, and on the violin by Suramani Shri Ramesh Chandra Das and Shri Agnimitra Behera.
The highlight of the evening was the recital by the Mohan Veena virtuoso, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Grammy award, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, with his blinding speed and faultless legato has mesmerized the world with his pristine, delicate, yet electrifying music. This evening was no exception. The creator of the Mohan Veena, he explored the intricacies and nuances of six mellifluous tunes, namely Raag Yaman, Raag Ramdasi Malhar, Raag Tilak Kamod, Raag Jaijaiwanti, Raag Pilu, and Raag Hamsadhwani. With his sheer virtuosity and limitless supply of melodies, his recital was inspirational and exceptional. This concluded the inaugural evening of the 26th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival.
The festival commences its second evening on September 6th with a Bharatanatyam recital by Shri P. Praveen Kumar, from Bengaluru. His performance will be followed by a Mardala recital by Guru Dhaneswar Swain, eminent percussionist and musician of Odisha.
The entire festival has been curated and designed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, with the programme execution by Shri Debiprasad Mishra. The festival is supported by the title sponsor Odisha Mining Corporation Limited (OMC), gold sponsor, Odisha Tourism, Government of Odisha, and festival sponsors, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Dept. of Odia Literature Language and Culture, Govt of Odisha, and the MGM Group, Bhubaneswar. The media partners are Dharitri and Odisha Post, and web partner is Narthaki.com. Maya Krishnamurty, member of Srjan Ensemble was the emcee of inaugural evening.