Kedar Mishra

Bhagirathi Mohapatra Performing at Rabindra Mandap
Bhagirathi Mohapatra Performing at Rabindra Mandap
Bhubaneswar: A dark, tall, lean, missing two teeth from the front and old (may be approaching 70)… but on stage he is electrifying. He is a perfect charmer. His Abhinaya is superb. His movements are geometrically perfect, also lyrical. An old Gotipua Guru, trained by Guru Birabar Sahu and Zamal Khan, he captured the art of absolute expression also confident to catch the show.

Bhagirathi Mohapatra, a priest from Barad Balunkeswar Shiva temple from Puri district steals the show today. His expressions manifested the raw aesthetic of Odissi. Dekhiba para Asare prana sangini… wao! What a terrific composition! The man is a born artist. People like Bhagirathi Mohapatra are our hidden gems. We must document their art and expression.

To the Odissi community he is known for his sensuous dancing and his typical Chhai, Chhataka and Chhapka. Today he proves that sensuous can also be spiritual. Audience at rabindra Mandap salute him from the core of their heart. Audience present at Ravindra Mandap gave a standing ovation to Bhagirathi Mohapatra, which is a rare phenomenon. A folk artist hardly gets such an honor. Ignorant of ovations and applauding, the man was enjoying his dance for which he is born for.

Celebrating 86th birth anniversary of legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, on Friday evening, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odishi Research Center organized a small but meaningful event of Odissi where the connoisseur had a lucky chance to watch a genius called Bhagirathi Mohapatra.

Guruji’s worthy son, Ratikant Mohapatra, and daughter-in-law Sujata Mohapatra, paid their tribute by dancing Jatayu Mokhya – one of the tried and tested composition. As usual they come with extra ordinary perfection.

Srijan group presented a new choreography which was composed earlier for 555 dancers in Kalinga stadium to set a record for Guinness Book of World Records. The composition needs a little polishing and rearrangements.

Paying tribute to the master three of his legendary disciples Dr. Minati Mishra, Dr. Priyambada Mohanty Hezmadi and Kumkum Mohanty shared their working experiences with Guruji.

Photos (Credit: Tikan Mishra)