Second Gurukrupa Nrutya Samaroha
- Nita Vidyarthi
Photos courtesy: Debaprasad Nrutya Pratisthan

April 19, 2016

Debaprasad Nrutya Pratisthan, Bhubaneswar, is a charitable organization in the memory of the great Odissi Guru Debaprasad Das, engaged in research, preservation and propagation of the Guru’s unique style. Beginning 2015, the organization has been offering a platform for the young and upcoming Odissi dancers, side by side with established ones (many of whom are now teachers) by organizing the Gurukrupa Nrutya Samaroha on February 21, 2016 at Bhanja Mandap, Bhubaneswar.

The one-day solo Odissi dance festival, a brainchild of Gayatri Chand, one of the senior most disciples of the late Guru and the founder-cum-executive trustee of the Pratisthan, saw the introduction of two events from this year onwards viz. felicitation of renowned Odissi gurus and showcasing fresh young talents in a separate section at the beginning of the main program. In its second year, the Samaroha presented 11 dancers from different parts of the country including  one from Hamburg, Germany and another from Adruta Children’s Home (orphanage). The dancers had been hand-picked and it was reassuring to find that these young dance aspirants did not have a craze to be on stage at any costs but tried hard to acquire training and understanding of the dance form in order to be a good performer.

The festival was inaugurated by the acclaimed Odissi dancer Dr. Minati Misra, in presence of dignitaries of the performing arts world. Odissi dance gurus Sudhakar Sahu, Dhuleswar Behera, Durgacharan Ranbir and Niranjan Routh were felicitated by Dr. Misra, in presence of guests of honour, Gurus Ramhari Das (musicologist), Dhaneswar Swain (mardala) and K. Ramarao Patra (veena).

Nikita Pattajoshi

Anisha Sinha

Shubha Bhatt

Sruti Swayamsiddha

Sangeeta Dash’s student Nikita Pattajoshi from Damanjodi opened the evening with a well-rehearsed Mangalacharan in raga Malabakaushika, ektali set to Ramhari Das’ music and Debaprasad Das’ and choreography by Dash.  Graceful Anisha Sinha (Guru Swapnarani Sinha) from Anugul, a winner at the National Youth festival, displayed fine abhinaya skills in  Kavi Banamali’s  “Ki lo sajani” in raga Khamaj, ektali choreographed by Durgacharan Ranbir. Shobha Bhat from Bengaluru presented Anandabhairabi Pallavi followed by an appealing ashtapadi “Sakhi hey Kesi mathanamudaram” by Kolkata’s Sruti Swayamsiddha (disciple of Guru Giridhari Nayak and Sujata Mohapatra) choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra in ektali and Jati taal set to raga Pahari by Pandit Bhubaneswar Misra. 

The best talent of the first segment of young upcoming dancers was the talented and graceful Anjali of Adruta Children’s Home, Bhubaneswar. The  plus-two student trained by Bharatcharan Giri showed promise and a fine sense of rhythm in the Shivatandava “Jai Shiva Swayambhu Pashupataye” in raga Kalyanam, taal ektali and jati, set to Sri Sri Anandamurti and Sukanta Kundu’s music interspersed with Sabdaswarapata.


Niladri Mohanty

Aneesh Raghavan

Nivedita Pattri

Gayatri Chand’s disciple Samiksha Pani opened the second segment with a matured execution of “Aygiri Nandini” choreographed by Gayatri, set to raga Bibhavari, ektali by Ramhari Das and rhythm by Dhaneswar Swain. Sangeeta Dash’s disciple Aneesh Raghavan, a familiar face from Puducherry, presented an energetic Shivastuti “Pasunam Patim” in raga Manorama, taal jati.   Otherwise a well-trained dancer, he had ample scope to display his skills in the execution of this lovely number. Nivedita Pattri from Cuttack presented a competent Hamsadwani Pallavi choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra set to Pandit Bhubaneswar Misra’s music with consummate ease, under the supervision of her teacher Jyotsnarani Sahoo.
Gudrun Martins from Hamburg (already a teacher), presented Sthyai in raga Bihagoda, ektali choreographed by Durgacharan Ranbir. Intercepted with Sabdaswarapata, with ukuta by Ranbir and music by Ramhari Das, technically sound Gudrun’s movements need to be more lyrical. Lucky Prajna Pratishtita Mohanty’s ‘Ardhanariswar,’ a masterpiece by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra set to raga-talamalika by Raghunath Panigrahi was a pleasure to watch. The dancer from Raipur is a student of Kumkum Mohanty and has a fine stage presence and excelled in the tandava, but could have given more attention to the lasya elements.

Lucky Prajna Mohanty

Gudrun Martins

Niladri Mohanty (Cuttack), a mature student of Durgacharan Ranbir, has made remarkable stride in recent times and rendered a compelling Kirwani Pallavi composed by his Guru. His perfect tribhangi in the delightful abhinaya “Chandra nisharey” by Kavisurya Baladev Rath, composed by Debaprasad Das was a captivating finale with the mellifluous singing and music by Ramhari Das complemented by Dhaneswar Swain’s rhythm. Here is a dancer to look out for. Gayatri Chand’s effort for presenting these talents in a well organized festival is praiseworthy. The program was compered by Srinibas Ghatuary with his usual vibrancy.

Dr. Nita Vidyarthi is a regular contributor to The Hindu and the Statesman Kolkata in dance, vocal music and theatre. She is trained in Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Manipuri as well as vocal, semi-classical music and Rabindra Sangeet. A Science communicator, Ph.D. in Polymer Science, Commonwealth Scholar and a retired Professor of Chemistry, Nita devotes most of her time to dance and theatre writing.