International Odissi Dance Festival at Bhubaneswar
Photos courtesy: Odisha Tourism

January 14, 2013

Organised by GKCM Odissi Research Centre under the aegis of Department of Tourism & Culture, Government of Odisha, the International Odissi Dance Festival (Dec 23 – 29, 2012) got off to a colourful start showcasing varied aspects of Odissi repertoire through legendary, established and senior dancers of repute who enthralled the audience with their splendid performances. Eminent dancers like Sonal Mansingh from New Delhi, Aloka Kanungo from Kolkata, Gayatri Chand from Bhubaneswar, Nityananda Das and Bijay Kumar Dash from Bhubaneswar, Meera Das from Cuttack, Nandita Behera from USA, Swapnarani Sinha and group from Angul, Mahagami  group from Aurangabad were attractions on the inaugural evening of Dec 23, 2012. The duet Odissi dance presented by differently abled Odissi dancer Nityananda Das with Bijaya Kumar Dash was very emotive and heart-touching. The Department of Tourism & Culture, Government of Odisha brought into the city an amalgam of colour, rhythm and vibrancy amply manifested in Toshali National Crafts Mela and International Odissi Dance Festival to the joy of art connoisseurs.

Aloka Kanungo

Sonal Mansingh

Nityananda Das & Bijay Kumar Dash

Gayatri Chand

Dec 24: The 2nd day witnessed a day-long program of Odissi dance with a special feature of foreign Odissi dancers in the morning session. The prominent dancers who gave brilliant presentations on different aspects of Odissi dance were Yukie Sato from Japan, Eleonora Ukhanova and Angelina Ukhanova from Russia (duet), Vinod Kevin Bachan from West Indies, Eiko Shinohara from Japan, Elena Knyazeva from Russia, Gargi Chhattopadhyay from USA. The afternoon program showcased solo, duet and group presentations by Nrityantara group from Bangalore, Bidya Das from Cuttack, Panchanan Bhuyan from New Delhi, Maria Laura Valdez from Peru, Bimbadhara Das and Sanjukta Das from Bhubaneswar (duet), Bijayalaxmi Satpathy from Bhubaneswar, Shagun Bhutani from New Delhi.

The evening’s program began with Kalabati Pallavi and abhinaya Tore sarana gali re Murali by acclaimed dancer Kumkum Mohanty who captivated the audience by her enchanting abhinaya. That was followed by Navarasa, the depiction of nine sentiments through the different episodes from Ramayana by Shipra Meherotra from US. Gourishankar Dash and Ayushi Mishra from Dhenkanal presented Mahakali Stutee. Dr. Ileana Citaristi’s Abhinaya Saranam depicting woman empowerment taking episodes from different religions was splendid. The duet presentation of Shankarabarana Pallavi by Uday Shetty and Soumya Shetty from Bengaluru spoke for the artistry and elegance of the artistes. Udra (group) from Bhubaneswar presented Panchamatrika exhibiting the glory of the five Mother Goddesses. The concluding item was Tala Madhurya by Rudraksha (group) from Bhubaneswar in which pure dance sequences with fluid movements, intricate footwork and sculpturesque poses were perfectly interwoven to create beautiful patterns much to the joy of audience who enjoyed the program till the end. The music was composed by Guru Ramhari Das, rhythm by Guru Dhaneswar Swain and dance choreographed by Guru Bichitrananda Swain.

Yukie Sato

Dec 25: The 3rd day of the biggest Odissi ensemble witnessed a beautiful blend of rhythm, movement and music representing the three styles of Odissi. The afternoon session featured some good performances by the artistes of Bharati Nrutya Mandir (group, Bhubaneswar), Kaveri Behera (New Delhi), Kalyani Sahoo and Tulika Patnaik (duet, Bhubaneswar), Purnashree Rout (Chhatisgarh) and Diya Sen (New Delhi).

Renowned dancer Madhavi Mudgal from New Delhi made an impact with her grace and fluid movement in pure dance number and abhinaya depicting the manifestations of nature in the advent of spring season. The other presentation like Draupadi from Panchakanya by Suhaganalini Das, ashtapadi Priye charu shile by Rahul Acharya exhibiting perfect synchronization in Panchabhuta, five elements of nature with melodious musical compositions by Guru Ramhari Das and dance choreographed by Guru Aruna Mohanty, the emotive Shivastaka by Guru Gajendra Panda were enchanting and engrossing. In group presentation, the artistes of Mokshya led by Sujata Mishra presented Sthayee, a pure dance followed by abhinaya Laja re aarigali, a typical Odiya song. The concluding group presentation was Narayani Pallavi followed by abhinaya Aaha mo nanda kule Govinda expressing the bliss and excitement of King Nanda on getting blessed by Krishna. Choreographed by Kumkum Mohanty, the abhinaya enthralled the audience.

Guru Gajendra Panda

Rahul Acharya

Bharati Nrutya Mandir

Purnashree Rout

Kaveri Behera

Leema Bhol

Dec 26: The 4th evening’s performance began with Delhi based established Odissi dancer Kumkum Lal who performed the asthapadi Yamihe kamiha saranam, expressing the anxiety of a bedecked Radha waiting beyond the agreed time. Sikata Das from Chennai presented a composition of poet Banamali, Tore sarana gali re Murali, the popular Odiya Janana written by Bhaktakavi Dinakrshuna Das. Jagabandhupari jane samnata was displayed with great devotion and emotion by Guru Niranjan Rout. The glorious incidents in Ramachandra’s life were depicted beautifully in the duet performed by Shashwati Garai Ghosh and Priyanki Gupta from Kolkata. Veteran dancer Daksha Mashruwala from Mumbai had unique presentation of Mahari song  Banshi teji hela. Noted dancer Madhusmita Mohanty with her subtle, graceful movements and emotional expressions depicting the love of a man for his newly married wife in Barabadhu written by Dr. Mayadhara Mansingh engrossed the audience. The group composition of Odissi Nrutya Mandal from Cuttack exhibited the different incarnations of Lord Krishna. Guru Gangadhar Foundation had the traditional presentation of Shankarabarana Pallavi in pure dance and Dasavatara in abhinaya. Earlier, the afternoon session featured solo, duet and group presentation by Triveni (group) from Cuttack, Nirod Dehuri from Bhubaneswar, Shivani Kanungo from USA, Aishwariya Singhdev and Sanjay Kumar Behera from Bhubaneswar, Prasant Kumar Behera from Bhubaneswar, Amanda Geroy from USA and Puspita Mishra from Bhubaneswar. The festival left an impressive mark in the minds of art lovers of the city through the splendid performances of the Odissi dancers from across the State and outside.

Nirod Dehuri

Amanda Geroy

Prashant Behera

Shivani Kanungo


Dec 27: The 5th day of the festival witnessed some memorable performances by young, established and legendary dancers in its two sessions. The afternoon session featured group, duet, solo performances by Sagarika Kala Niketan (group) from Paradeep, Lucky Pratistha Mohanty from Raipur, Sagarika Mohanty from Paradeep, Lopamudra Jena and Puspa Panda (duet) from Cuttack, Coleena Shakti from USA and Y Asha Kumari from New Delhi.

The evening session started with Krusna mangala charana and Mamiyam chalita bilokya from Gita Govinda by eminent Guru Durgacharan Ranbir who mesmerized the audience by his superb performance. This year’s Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winner Sharmila Biswas presented pure dance Swarabilasa set to raag Charukesi to the appreciation of the audience. Popular Janana ahe nila saila presented by Guru Manoranjan Pradhan captivated the audience. The young duo Bijan Pallai and Rudra Prasad Swain of Orissa Dance Akademi beautifully narrated the Krishna Gatha with perfect synchronization. Known for her elegant and graceful movements, Kavita Diwedi regaled the audience with her abhinaya on the compositions of poet Banamali. USA based Odissi dancer Jyoti Rout presented episode on Hanuman while eminent Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena had a very emotive presentation of Gita Govinda. In group presentation Nrutyangana presented Panchadevi Namastute eulogizing the glory of five Mother Goddesses and Nrutyasala on Shree Jayadev. Earlier in the day, a seminar on Odissi dance was organized at Rabindra Mandap which was attended by eminent dancers and scholars like Dr. Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi, Dr. Minati Mishra and Kumkum Mohanty along with many popular Odissi dancers.

Lopamudra Jena & Puspa Panda

Coleena Shakti

Y Asha Kumari 

Bijan Pallai and Rudra Prasad Swain

Sagarika Kala Niketan

Dec 28: The 6th day showcased some brilliant performances by Chinmoyee Classics (group) from Bhubaneswar, Taisia Schpulnikova from Russia, differently abled dancer Mithilesh Pattnaik from Bhubaneswar, Supriya Nayak and Madhyama Segal (duet) from New Delhi, Mitali D’Souza from Mumbai, Bindu Juneja and Kalyani Phagre from Bhopal, and Lipsa Dash from New Delhi in the afternoon session. 

In the evening session, eminent dancer and scholar Dr. Minati Mishra presented abhinaya Mamiyam chalitya bilokya from Gita Govinda with a proportionate blending of bhava and rasa. The septuagenarian artiste delighted the audience with her splendid performance. The next presentation was by Ranjana Gauhar, who performed abhinaya on Meera bhajan narrating the different manifestations of rainy season and the imagination of Meera in quest of Krishna. Then another promising male Odissi dancer Yudhistir Nayak performed abhinaya Pratinayak depicting different characters in different ages portraying the devilish and divinity in man. The presentation was a beautiful blend of nayaka beda based on the music composition of Guru Ramhari Das, rhythm composition by Guru Dhaneswar Swain and Bijay Barik and dance choreography by Guru Aruna Mohanty. In duet, the young talented duo Soumya Bose and Minakshirani Pradhan presented Siva Stutee followed by an abhinaya Kahiniki bedana deuchha mote Madana by Kolkata based dancer Nandini Ghoshal. Prativa Panda, a leading dancer of Guru Debaprasad style, presented abhinaya Mohane deli chahin go written by poet Banamali exhibiting Radha’s shyness and excitement to meet Krishna with sensuous charm. Next was a group presentation sa re ga ma pa dha ni based on the intricacies of music in relation to dance co-relating different episodes of mythology by Ginwa under the direction of Guru Somanath Pradhan. The concluding group presentation was abhinaya Barsa yuge yuge presented by the student of Utkal University of Culture. The dance was choreographed by Guru Naba Kishore Mishra to the music composition of Sukanta Kumar Kundu. 

Taisia Schpulnikova

Bindu Juneja & Kalyani Phagre

Chinmoyee Classics

Ranjana Gauhar

Minati Mishra

Soumya Bose & Minakshirani Pradhan

Supriya Nayak & Madhyama Segal

Dec 29: There was tremendous response on the concluding day of the weeklong International Odissi Dance Festival. The afternoon session featured Dibyashree Panda from Bhubaneswar, Baishali Kolaya and Arpita Venkatesh from Kolkata, Sharanya Mukhopadhyay from USA, Moonmoon Chakrabarty from Cuttack, Rajiv Bhattacharya from Kolkata and Kanduri Charan Behera from Bhubaneswar who presented some brilliant performances much to the appreciation of Odissi lovers.

The evening program started with eminent Odissi dancer Kiran Segal who presented an abhinaya Rashe harimiha bihita bilasam from Gita Govinda followed by an Odiya song Bata chhada sughata nagara written by poet Banamali. The next presentation was an abhinaya Nirjharare swapna bhanga depicting the experience of an awakened soul and its liberation based on Rabindra Sangeet by Reela Hota from New Delhi. Pranati Mohanty from Angul performed ashtapadi Kuru yadu nandana from Gita Govinda followed by the duet performance of Minati Mahapatra and Anindita Parida who presented Sivashtakam eulogizing the different aspects of Shiva and then Kalavati Pallavi set to taal triputa. Dance was choreographed by Dr. Ileana Citaristi and music by Guru Banamali Moharana and Guru Ghanashyam Panda. Guru Ratikant Mohapatra gave a brilliant performance depicting the episode of Sita’s marriage and killing of demon duo Khara-Dushan from Tulasidas Ramayana set to Ragamalika and Talamalika. The music was composed by Pradeep Das and dance was choreographed by Ratikant Mohapatra. Established dancer from Kolkata, Rina Jena performed an abhinaya Brajaku chara aasichhi written by poet Banamali. The artistes of Suravi group of Bhubaneswar under the direction of Guru Pitambara Biswal presented Harihara Sabda depicting the glory of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The concluding group presentation was by the students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya who presented Sambhavami yuge yuge depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu set to raag Kalyani and taal jhampa, regaling the audience with their splendid performance. Earlier in the evening, this year’s Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Bismilla Khan Award winners Odissi dancer Sonali Mohapatra and flautist Srinivas Satapathy were felicitated.

Baishali Kolay & Arpita Venkatesh

Sharanya Mukhopadhyay

Dibyashree Panda

Kanduri Charan Behera