Blooming buds

Gitanjali Acharya.

Gitanjali Acharya.  


The Naveen Kalakar Odissi Dance Festival saw 70 artistes presenting their numbers excellently.

Mentally challenged Mithilesh Patnaik performed with perfection.

Into its second edition this year, the annual Naveen Kalakar national Odissi dance festival in Bhubaneswar recently provided the much needed platform for aspiring artistes to prove their potentials. Organised by the Devdasi Nrutya Mandir in association with the Department of Culture, Government of Orissa and financially supported by Muscat-based non-resident Oriya and Odissi dance promoter A.K. Parija, the three-day event showcased nearly 70 budding artistes from the country and even a few from Japan.

A six-member jury comprising senior dancers recommended 21 participants as winners of “Odissi Jyoti” title for their performance. Besides, the jury selected three winners of the state-level Odissi dance competition that was a component of the festival. Mr. Parija had instituted cash prizes of Rs. 10,000, Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 3,000 respectively for the three winners to encourage young boys and girls to pursue an interest in Odissi dance.

The festival offered an opportunity to discover some of the future faces of Odissi dance. Srjan’s Gitanjali Acharya (Bhubaneswar), Rajib Bhattacharya and Rajnita Banarjee (both from Kolkata), who were quite impressive with display of an amazing angasuddhi, were the best examples of excellent institutional grooming. Similarly dancer-sisters duo Jaya and Swaati Chattopadhyay from New Delhi, who are religiously preserving and promoting the distinctly different style of late guru Surendra Nath Jena, won appreciation for their authentic portrayal of the style. However, it was Shashwati Garai from Kolkata and disciple of Sharmila Biswas who had won the Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Puraskar in 2006 as the most promising young Odissi dancer of Kolkata, won over the audience and the jury as well with her brilliant performance.

Two dancers from Tripura also featured in the festival. And it was heartening to watch mentally challenged Mithilesh Patnaik from Bhubaneswar performing with perfection.

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