Kolkata to host two-day festival next month

  • Festival to be hosted at Gyan Manch on April 18 and 19
  • Inaugural day to feature several senior disciples of Kelucharan

    BHUBANESWAR: As a befitting tribute to legendary Odissi maestro Padma Vibhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra, Odissi dancers of Kolkata, in association with Bhubaneswar-based dance institution Srjan, which was founded by the great guru himself, will stage `Deesha', a two-day dance festival in the West Bengal capital next month.

    Speaking to The Hindu here on Friday, Srjan director Ratikant Mohapatra, son and disciple of Kelucharan Mohapatra, informed that the festival would be hosted at the Gyan Manch auditorium on April 18 and 19.

    "It is a matter of pride for Odissi dancers of Kolkata that my father spent much time in the city of culture. He shared a special bond with the cultural ethos of the city and he also received much admiration for his dance. The festival is an expression of the dancers' continued love and respect for the guru," he said.

    Solo performance

    Yuva Prativa Samman, the Kolkata chapter of Srjan, emphasises the role of the solo dancer in the classical Odissi genre. Hence, it launched the annual Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Prativa Samman, which is conferred on a solo dancer chosen by a competition, informed chapter coordinator Rajiv Bhattacharya.

    The winner would get an opportunity to learn under the tutelage of guru Ratikant Mohapatra for one year for the purpose of absorbing the nuances of the distinct Kelucharan Mohapatra `gharana' of Odissi, he added. Amrita Das of Burdwan would be presented the award this year, he said.

    The inaugural day would feature several senior disciples of Kelucharan who had carved a niche on the international arena, Ratikant stated. They included Sharmila Biswas, Dona Ganguly, actress Nandini Ghosal, Arundhati Roy, Manjushri Banerjee, Dipanwita Roy, Monalisha Ghosh, Rajib Bhattacharya and Tuhina Chakraborty.

    Son's tribute

    While the inaugural evening would be treated as a tribute to the guru by his disciples, the concluding day was being billed as a son's tribute to his father.

    Accordingly, guru Ratikant would present his new and innovative choreographic compositions.

    While Kelucharan's disciple and daughter-in-law Sujata Mohapatra would have a solo performance, Srjan troupe would present `Bhaja Govindam', Ratikant's latest composition during the evening.