Celebrating spring

Classical treats Geetinaya

Classical treats Geetinaya   | Photo Credit: Photos: Shyamhari Chakra


Music and dance recitals highlighted Krishna leela at the Basant Utsav.

For the fourth consecutive year, Bhubaneswar-based three decade old cultural organisation Bansi Bilas hosted Basant Utsav, the annual spring festival, in Bhubaneswar. The uniqueness of the event lies in its thrust on exploring the influence of Krishna on Indian dance and music.

The three-day festival this year featured Odissi and Hindustani in music segment while the dance segment showcased Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Orissa’s immensely popular dance drama tradition of Geetinatya. The focus of the festival being on Krishna bhava, all the recitals revolved round Krishna leela.

Leesa Mohanty and Gayatri Ranbir, both disciples of Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, staged impressive Odissi performances as soloists while Odissi dancer couple Madhusmita Mohanty and Ramesh Chandra Jena, both belonging to the famed Orissa Dance Academy of Bhubaneswar, had the best duet presentation.

The other two duet performances were by Hyderabad-based Bharatanatyam exponent Rajeshwari Sainath along with daughter and disciple Vaishnavi and Odissi dancers Amrita Patsani and Lipsa Das from Bhubaneswar-based Suravi Odissi School.

In group presentations, premiere Odissi dance institution Srjan — founded by late legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra and now led by his son Ratikant Mohapatra — stole the show with dance ballet Geet Govind. The young Kuchipudi troupe from Vijaywada led by Ajay Kumar also staged an energetic performance. Similarly, Bhubaneswar-based Odissi Guru Gajendra Panda and his troupe impressed. Host Bansi Bilas staged Nimai Sanyas in the dying dance theatre format of geetinatya that depicted the love of saint Chaitanya for Krishna in a touching manner.

Odissi vocalists Bijay Kumar Jena and Minati Bhanja, both regarded as the star singers, regaled with their tonal clarity and melodious renditions. Hindustani vocalist Tarun Kumar Das from Vrindavan was the other impressive singer whose training in dhrupad style of singing was evident in his recital.

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