Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: After Bangalore-based Bijayini Satpathy and Malayasia-based Leena Mohanty, both belonging to the State, it has been the turn of city-based Odissi dancer Madhusmita Mohanty to bring laurels to her home State of Orissa, the land of Odissi.

Madhusmita has been declared the winner of the prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Prativa (young talent) Puraskar for 2007. Bijayini and Leena were the winners for 2006. The award, instituted in memory of the late legendary sehnai maestro in 2006 by the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, carries a cash award of Rs.25, 000 and a plaque.

“The award is meant to identify and encourage outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and give them national recognition early in life so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in life-long pursuit of their chosen art-form,” an Akademi release stated. Artists below the age of 35 years in the field of music, dance, theatre, puppetry and scholarship in performing arts are considered for this coveted award. Thirty artists of the nation including eight in Indian classical dances were selected for the award. Madhusmita represents Odissi dance style.

A proud product of eminent Odissi guru Padma Sri Gangadhar Pradhan’s Orissa Dance Academy, Madhusmita has been a widely travelled performer who has toured abroad on a number of occasions. Winner of the prestigious Singarmani title from the Sur Singar Samsad of Mumbai, she is just back from China after performing in a special show on Indian culture hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and undertaken by versatile Bharatnatyam dancer Leela Samson. Madhusmita would be conferred the award in a special ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday coinciding with the World dance day celebrations.