Art Vision's tribute to Guruji 
- Rahul Acharya, Bhubaneswar

April 9, 2009 
In the recently concluded death anniversary celebration of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Dr. Ileana Citaristi's Art Vision quite articulately put up a wonderful show of the Geeta Govinda compositions done by Guruji himself.  The show started with the screening of the documentary on Guruji's life 'Bhavantaran.'  This was followed by Geeta Govinda recitals.  The recital started chronologically with "Shreeta Kamala" by Anil Lenka, followed by "Lalita Lavanga" by Nandini Ghoshal, "Sakhi He" by Meera Das, "Dheera Sameere" by Ileana Citaristi, "Pashyati Dishi Dishi" by the veteran dancer Dr Minati Mishra, "Yahi Madhava" by Itishree Dwivedi, "Priye Charushile" by Pranati Mohanty and finally ended with a video footage of Guruji himself rendering "Kuru Yadunandana." 

A brief history of each of the composition was given before each rendition. Performances worth mentioning were that of Meera Das' rendition of "Sakhi He Keshi Mathana Mudaram." Meera skillfully and subtly executed the song where Radha is narrating about her personal trysts with the slayer of Keshi.  Meera, with her benign charm, put up a beautiful show.  This is certainly expected from a dancer who is regularly performing and is in full form. 

Itishree Dwivedi has returned to the stage after a long time.  She neatly executed "Yahi Madhava" with complete grace.  Nowhere could one say that she might have left dancing or was out of form. 

The last performance was by Pranati Mohanty, who performed "Priye Charushile." Rarely has one seen female dancers portray this particular piece with the masculine aura. Even male dancers, while performing this piece add a bit of femininity to it.  But Pranati was exceptional.  One rarely sees dancers of this calibre and not much had been seen of her of late.  She was probably the show stopper.  Among the male disciples of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Ratikanta Mohapatra's masculinity and vigour is certainly worth mentioning. 

The pioneer Odissi dancer Dr Minati Mishra was beyond comparison.  The chouka and tribhanga lines she maintains at her age (she is in her late seventies) is an example for dancers of our generation.  She was always known for her abhinaya skills.  Coming from beyond the Indian subcontinent, leaving her home and family in Italy, making Orissa her home and adopting the Oriya lifestyle, Ileana Citaristi has done a remarkable job in her sadhana. 

One definitely missed the presence of senior disciples of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra like Kumkum Mohanty, Aloka Kanungo, Sharon Lowen, Sujata Mohapatra, Sharmila Biswas etc.  Samsmaranam, the annual death anniversary celebration organized by Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra was taking place in New Delhi in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi, thus most of the senior disciples were in New Delhi performing at the Meghdoot theatre. 

It is a unique initiative by Citaristi to ensure that no matter wherever Guruji's death anniversary is celebrated, it must be observed in Bhubaneswar. 

Rahul Acharya is a disciple of Guru Durga Charan Ranbir.