Bhubaneswar: Classical music fusion and Odissi dance mesmerised the cultural aficionados of Odisha on the second day evening of the 25th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2019, here on Friday.

Following the set pattern for the Award Festival this year, the programme commenced with a music recital, followed by Odissi dance group presentation by two established institutions of Odisha. First was the Classical Music Fusion presentation by Flautist Paras Nath, Violinist Deepak Pandit, and ‘Mandolin’ Rajesh, accompanied on the Tabla by Prashant Sonagra. They began with a special tribute to the legendary maestro Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, in whose honour the festival is being organised.

Captivating the audience with their versatility and creative expression, Paras Nath, Deepak Pandit, U Rajesh and Prashant Sonagra kept captivating the audience with their versatility and creative expressions. They presented a striking and memorable creative collaboration of musical harmony. Grounded in the classical tradition, this quartet of musicians explored novel interpretations of the ragas and the highlight of their presentation was the final piece, set to Ragamaalika. A single composition featuring 14 different ragas, the piece began in the poignant afternoon Raga Bhimpalasi.

Suravi, an Odissi dance troupe led by Pitambar Biswal presented Suryashtaka, a hymn recited to Lord Surya to invoke blessings of good health, abundance and longevity. Invoking the Sun God to absolve mankind from suffering, and help to lead a prosperous and harmonious life, the dancers, with neat and fluid movements and good confidence, portrayed various facets of the Sun God and the Surya Pranam. Set to the music composition of Ramhari Das, the rhythm composition of Niranjan Patra, the original dance choreography is by Durga Charan Ranbir, adapted to a group composition by Pitambar Biswal.

The evening was concluded with the presentation of Ahimsa: an Ode to the Father of the Nation by the dancers of Orissa Dance Academy. Ahimsa showcased the life of Gandhi, his ideas and philosophy, woven as a poetic applique. His ideas of truth, non-violence, Swadeshi, Swaraj, and self-realization are taken as metaphors and the historical events symbolizing turning points in the life of a nation are used. Gandhi is not simply a political leader from history, but an idea that lives on forever, redeeming the darker side of humanity. Borrowing verses by acclaimed poets such as Narsi Meheto, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Harivanshrai Bachchan, and Radhamohan Gadanayak, the dancers exhibited refreshing grace and commendable stage presence, making Ahimsa a delightful encapsulation of a complex narrative. Scripted by Kedar Mishra, and set to the music composition of Ramhari Das, the dance choreography for this presentation was done by Aruna Mohanty.

Adyasha Satpathy Paying Tribute to Guruji

The performances were aided with the brilliant light designing by Debi Prasad Mishra, and the able compering of Dr. Srinivas Ghatuary.

Part of a seven-day celebration of classical dance and music, the third day of the Award Festival will feature Hindustani Music, with a Sarangi recital by Sabir Khan accompanied by Ishaan Ghosh on the table, a special solo recital by Smt. Niharika Mohanty, senior disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Odissi exponent and founder-director of Guru Shradha, California, USA, and a group Odissi dance performance by Rudrakshya Foundation, Bhubaneswar led by Bichitrananda Swain.

The CEO of OdishaPost, Adyasha Satpathy, and Srjan director Ratikanta Mohapatra graced the evening.