The only festival of its kind in the world that showcases the best of Odissi in solo, duet and group format, the recently concluded four-day event proved its uniqueness with some of the best known artistes and troupes participating in it.
With an amazing "angasuddhi" that resulted in a series of strikingly sculpturesque poses, versatile Aruna emerged as the best soloist of the festival with her peerless performance. She was at her best in "Konark kanti" (the beauty of the Konark), a pure dance number that explored the beauty of the rhythmic body movements. The other impressive soloist was Leena Mohanty who executed an excellent articulation of little Krishna in "Govind Damodar stotra," a superb choreographic composition of her guru Durga Charan Ranbir in the Debaprasad Das gharana.
Keeping with the legacy of late legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra, artistes of his institution Srjan led by his son and institute director Ratikant Mohapatra put up the best group presentation of the festival. Exhibiting a great sense of team spirit, the professionally trained young artistes executed with élan a dance of delight in the grand geometric patterns conceived by choreographer Ratikant Mohapatra. And it was a simply superb performance by Ratikant as Hanuman along with his star dancer wife Sujata as Seeta that was mesmerizing.
performances and aesthetic ambience of the Mukteswar temple complex apart,
what elevated the beauty of the festival was the demonstration of an apt
art of anchoring by Itishree Dwibedi, a dancer herself, and popular television
news reader Deba Prasad Das.
A former journalist with the Indian Express group, Shyamhari Chakra is a New Delhi based freelancer writing on dance and culture. He is building up an archive on Odissi dance in Bhubaneswar. He is a regular contributor to narthaki.com