BHUBANESWAR: City-based veteran Odissi dancer Snehaprava Samantray would be the recipient of the Mahari award this year.

The award, instituted by Guru Pankaj Charan Odissi Research Foundation, carries a cash award of Rs.25, 000 besides, a memento and a citation.

Announcing the award, Foundation secretary Sarat Das told media persons here on Monday that the award was named after his father Padmashri Pankaj Charan Das.

It was instituted 14 years ago to honour a versatile Odissi dancer every year, who has the devotion of the Maharis towards dance. The award is being presented as part of the annual Guru Pankaj Utsav, Mr.Das explained. The three-day Guru Pankaj Utsav would be held at the Rabindra Mandap here from March 17.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been invited to give away the award, the hosts informed.


Continuing with the tradition of encouraging solo artistes as per the wishes of the late guru, the festival will feature 13 young Odissi dancers from Orissa and West Bengal. The highlight of the 14th edition of the festival would be commencement of each evening’s performance with the ritualistic Mahari dance, Mr. Das said.