Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival – 2018


Bhubaneswar: The 24th edition of the annual Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival by Srjan began with great enthusiasm and excitement with the art connoisseurs thronging to Rabindra Mandap here on Wednesday.


The first presentation in the inaugural evening was Odissi by Smt. Rajashri Praharaj. Rajashri commenced her recital with a pushpanjali (floral tribute) followed by a dance piece called Hamsadhwani Pallavi set to Raga Hamsadhwani on ektaal.

The piece was choreographed by the legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra to the music composition of Bhubaneswar Mishra.

She concluded her recital with ‘Abhinaya – Sita Haran‘. She was accompanied by Ratikant Mohapatra on the Mardala, Ramesh Chandra Das and Agnimitra Behera on the Violin, Srinibas Satapathy on the Flute and Rupak Kumar Parida on Vocals.

The second presentation of the evening was instrumental Jugalbandi of Violin by Vidwan R. Kumaresh and Veena by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh. They presented a soulful duet accompanied by Jayachandra Rao and Krishnaswami Sankararaman on the Mridangam and Ghatam respectively.

Their captivating rendition of classical music, exploring the intricacies of both instruments, showed their years of experience and expertise in their respective fields.


After a captivating Odissi dance recital by Rajashri Praharaj and a spectacular musical treat by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh on the Veena and R. Kumaresh on the Violin on the inaugural evening, day two witnessed yet another beautiful blend of dance and music, with a vocal recital by Partha Sarathi Panigrahi and a Kuchipudi duet by Vyjayanthi and Prateeksha Kashi.

The evening commenced with a vocal rendition of the Geeta Govinda by Partha Sarathi ‘Baboo’ Panigrahi, son of the legendary duo of Odissi, late Smt. Sanjukta and Suramani Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi. With a deep soulful voice like his father, Pt. Raghunath Panigrahi, Baboo enthralled the audience with Srita Kamala, Mamiyam Chalita Vilokya and Dheera Samire, Ashtapadis from the Geeta Govinda. He also sang Jaya Durge in praise of the power and grandeur of Goddess Durga with great poise and feeling. Baboo was ably accompanied by Bibhu Prasad Tripathy on the Keyboard, Dushmant Parida on Percussion and Rabi Narayan Barik on the Cymbals. A true son of his father, it was a great sight to glimpses of the great maestro Raghunathji in Baboo, who is ably carrying forward the rich musical legacy that he has been entrusted with.

The second programme of the evening was a Kuchipudi duet by the highly reputed mother-daughter duo of Vyjayanthi Kashi and Prateeksha Kashi from Bangalore. Smt. Vyjayanthi Kashi’s concept and choreography of Antaranga-taranga was presented skillfully with a blend of both elegance and great energy, with dialogues that heightened the dramatic effect. The entire production was a depiction of variations of the Vatsalya Rasa. The first item portrayed the Vatsalya Rasa between God and devotee through the story of Narasimha and Prahlad. Taken from the Krishna Leela Tarangini by Sri Narayana Teertha, this piece highlighted the theatrical aspects of Kuchipudi with a seamless blend of Nritya, Nritta and Natya in the depiction of the Rasa between Narayana (Narasimha) and his devotee Prahlad through different experiences in his life. The second piece, Jagadoddharana is a popular composition portraying the Vatsalya Rasa between mother and son. Although Yashoda is not the actual mother of Krishna, her unconditional motherly love for him was brought out beautifully by Vyjayanthi Kashi.

In their final presentation, Bhumi Sita, specially choreographed for the Award Festival, they showed the Vatsalya Rasa between mother and daughter, narrating the feelings of Bhumi towards her daughter through the various phases of her life, her marriage to Lord Ram and especially during her final wish to return to the womb of her mother. Accompanied by a flawless live orchestra with Aishwariya Nityananda and Akhila Pajimanu on the Vocals, Shashishankara Bhadrachar on the Mridangam, Jayaram KS on the Flute, Vishwanath NV on the Violin, Anil Iyer on the Natuvangam and Naveen MG on the lights, the experience of Smt. Vyjayanthi Kashi and the energy of Prateeksha made Antaranga-taranga an aesthetic delight for the audience and a befitting conclusion to the second evening.


The third-day evening of the festival witnessed a neo-classical music fusion performance by “Shivagni”. The performing artistes were Satchidananda Das, Kulamani Sahoo, Srinibas Satapathy, Agnimitra Behera, Kshiti Prakash Mohapatra, Biswaranjan Nanda, Deba Ranjan Nayak, Ramesh Chandra Behera, Samir Ranjan Pradhan and Bikashita Sahu.

This contemplative juxtaposition of rhythmic variations enthralled the audience who were deeply engrossed till the end of the show.


The fourth evening featured a beautiful mix of dance and music withthe legendary Pt. Rajendra Gangani’s spell-binding Kathakperformance and Ambi Subramaniam’s captivating solo Violin rendition. Year-after-year, the Award Festival presents performances by both established and budding artistes that the Odisha audience has not yet witnessed, giving them the experience of witnessing an exemplary performer as well as the novelty of an upcoming star. This evening was a perfect example of that.

The first performance of the evening was a solo performance by Kathak maestro Pt. Rajendra Gangani. He began his recital with Jagannatha Swami Nayana Pathagami Bhava Tume paying obeisance to Lord Jagannath. This was followed by his first main piece, Durga Stuti by Guru Gobind Singhji, portraying the power and grandeur of Goddess Durga. This was followed by a piece on the Nritta aspect of Kathak, exploring the technical intricacies of pure dance effortlessly and with absolute poise and dignity, captivating the audience. The next piece in his repertoire for the evening was an Abhinaya from Jayadeva’s Geeta Govinda, Srita Kamala Kuccha Mandala. His beautiful portrayal of this popular Ashtapadi spoke volumes about his mastery of the field. He then explored Dhrut Laya of Teen Taal and Lehras in Raag Charukeshi. The audience witnessed a rare composition with unique Uthans, Thaats and Parans. Through his innovative style and technical wizardry, Pt. Gangani presented an evening of Kathak that was truly a memorable experience for the Bhubaneswar audience. He was accompanied on a flawless orchestra by Sri Ravi Shankar Sharma on Sitar, Sri Ayyub Khan on the Sarangi, Sri Samiullah Khan on Vocals and Sri Yogesh Gangani on the Tabla.

The second performance of the evening was a classical Carnatic Violin recital by the immensely talented Ambi Subramaniam. Hailed as the new king of Indian classical violin, Ambi lived upto his reputation with a sensitive, mature and spell-binding performance. He performed pieces from a traditional Carnatic repertoire and was ably accompanied on the Mridangam by V.V. Ramanamurthy and on the Morsing by Satyasai Ghantasala. He commenced his recital with a composition by his father, the legendary Dr. L. Subramaniam in Raag Abhogi and went on to present a Pallavi in Raag Charukeshi, and concluded with a Tillana.


On the concluding evening, “NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2018” was presented to Dr. Satchi Das for Theatre and Guru Lingaraj Behera for Dance. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000 and a citation.

The “NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman 2018” was presented to Sonali Mohapatra, (Bhubaneswar) for Odissi, Subikash Mukherjee, (Kolkata) for Odissi, Swati Sinha, (Delhi) for Kathak, and Rohan Dahale, (Mumbai) for Odissi Mardala. Each of them will be awarded with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000.

After the award presentation, the host institution, Srjan opened the evening with “Kirwani Madhurima”, a neo-classical Odissi dance presentation, scripted by Pt. Nityananda Misra to the original music composition of Dr.Vyzarsu Balasubramaniam and the choreography of Sri Ratikant Mohapatra.

They then presented a special performance– “Maati”, derived from an inspiring and popular poem by the iconic Odia poet Sri Radha Mohan Gadanayak. The dance choreography was done by Ratikant Mohapatra. The music composition is by Laxmikant Palit and the script adaptation is by Jaydev Das. Dancers, Smt. Rajashri Praharaj, Ritu Sengupta, Pragna Parimita Das, Riyanka Chakrabarty, Aishwariya Singhdev, Sipra Swain, Maya Krishnamurty, Preetisha Mohapatra and Reebdhita Barua presented this exemplary composition with great energy and synchronization.

Noted film personality Hema Malini graced the concluding evening of the festival.