Bhubaneswar: The 18th annual Guru Pankaj Utsav – a dance festival of Odissi soloists – being hosted at the Rabindra Mandap in the State capital by the Guru Pankaj Charan Odissi Research Foundation concluded on Monday with presentation of the Mahari Award to Odissi danseuse Dr. Minati Pradhan.
His Excellency Sj. M.C. Bhandare, Hon’ble Governor of Odisha presented the award that carried a citation a momento and a cash award of Rs. 25, 000. Dr. Pradhan also performed during the evening.
Instituted in the honour of Guru Pankaj Charan Das, the Mahari award is considered a big honour in the field of Odissi. Dancers such as Rupashree Mohapatra, Sujata Mohapatra, Aruna Mohanty, Aloka Kanungo, Meera Das, Kavita Dwivedi, Jhelum Paranjpe, Sangeeta Dash, Bijayini Satpathy, Leena Das and many others have been the recipients of the award in the past.
The three-day festival showcased performance of Odissi and Mahari dance styles. The dancers include Kalyani Sahu, Pompi Paul from Kolkata, Khyanaprava Parida, Swapna Rani Sinha and Niladri Mohanty, Kaustavi Sarkar of Kolkata, Dhara Gandhi Dutta of Mumbai, Moumita Ghosh of New Delhi, Madhulita Mohapatra of Bangalore, Guru Braja Kishore Mallick, Mamata Satpathy, Nayana Patel, Lopamudra Jena, Manaswini Mohanty, Guru Gobind Chandra Pal.
Among others, Shri Ashok Kumar Tripathy, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Culture Department, Government of Odisha, Shri Praveen Gupta, Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Batakrushna Tripathy, Chairman of the Foundation, Sarat Das, Secretary of the Foundation and the late Guru’s son graced the occasion as guests on the concluding evening of the festival.