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Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2023 has begun its 29th edition


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The 29th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (GKCM) Award Festival 2023, a premier event in the cultural calendar of Odisha, organised by Srjan in collaboration with Sri Sri University (SSU), Cuttack kick-started yesterday. From September 5 to 9th it will showcase a dance and musical extravaganza at Rabindra Mandap in the evening.

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After the auspicious lighting of the lamp and formal commencement of the Award Festival, the welcome address by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, Director, Srjan and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Communication and Indic Studies (FACIS), SSU was followed by speeches by the eminent guests of honour, Shri Ashwini Kumar Patra, Minister of State, Tourism, Odia Literature Language and Culture, Excise; Prof (Dr.) BR Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Sri Sri University, Cuttack; Shri Ashok Tripathy, Former Member, Board of Revenue, Government of Odisha & Independent Director, Steel Authority of India Limited; and Shri Pankaj Lochan Mohanty, Managing Director, MGM Minerals.

This edition of the Award Festival will witness solo dance performances accompanied by a live orchestra in the first half of each evening, followed by music recitals in the second half. In line with this festival design, the inaugural evening opened with a stellar Odissi dance recital by Shashwati Garai Ghosh from Kolkata, a seasoned Odissi dancer and senior disciple of renowned Odissi guru Smt. Sharmila Biswas. In her two-part presentation, she commenced with a befitting invocation to Goddess Devi, Mahamaya, who is the embodiment of life, the divine effulgence of worldly existence. This presentation was choreographed by Smt. Shashwati Garai Ghosh is set to the music composition of Shri Srijan Chatterjee.

She concluded with a beautiful Abhinaya, adapted to the Odissi idiom by Guru Smt. Sharmila Biswas from a choreography of Guru Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. Based on a shloka from the Šrī Krishnakarṇāmrutam composed by 13th-century Sanskrit poet, Shri Bilvamangala, Ghosh presented Ramo Nama Babhuva, the endearing story of mother Yashoda putting a reluctant and tiresome baby Krishna to sleep by narrating to him, the epic Ramayana.

Her recital was interlaced with nuanced abhinaya exploring Vatsalya Rasa, while the invocation showed the power and finesse of her nritta and abhinaya in consonance. She was provided able accompaniment on the Violin by Suramani Ramesh Chandra Das, on the Flute by Shri Srinibas Satapathy, on the Mardala by Shri Budhanath Swain and on Vocals by Shri Rajesh Kumar Lenka. The light design further reinforced the vibrance of her performance.

The second evening of the festival on September 6th commences with Kathak recital by renowned Kathak exponent, Smt. Shila Mehta, accompanied on the Tabla by Shri Vivek Mishra and Shri Amitangshu Kumar Brahma, on the Sarod by Shri Sunando Mukherjee, and on Vocals by Shri Jaydeep Sinha, followed by the Hindustani Vocal Rendition by Shri Jayateerth Mevundi, aided by Shri Narahari V. on the Tabla and Smt. Anushula More on the Harmonium.

The 29th OMC GKCM Award Festival has been generously sponsored by the diamond sponsor Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd. (OMC). The Award Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and the Odia Language Literature & Culture Department, Government of Odisha.

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