Rain invoked in music and dance
Photos courtesy: Odisha Tourism

August 17, 2012

It was rain outside and inside the auditorium as reflected in music and dance by noted artistes from Odissi, Hindustani and Rabindra Sangeet during the three-day festival Megha Utsav from August 9 to 11, 2012 at Bhubaneswar. Under the aegis of Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Odisha, the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi organised this festival celebrating the monsoon through literature, painting, dance and music. Earlier in the day, the Odisha Sahitya Akademi organised a literary meet and Lalit Kala Akademi organised Artists Camp on rain at Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya.

Guru Ramahari Das

Pramita Mallick

Shubha Mudgal

The festival took off to a great start on the inaugural evening at Rabindra Mandap with eminent Odissi singer, composer and scholar Guru Ramahari Das presenting a recital blending beautifully the compositions of the great poet Kalidas, Jayadev, Jagannath Das and Padamanav. His rendition was emotionaly appealing and intelectually satisfying. He was followed by eminent Rabindra Sangeet singer Pramita Mallick from Kolkata who enchanted the audience with her mellifluous voice. The concluding program was a much awaited presentation by reputed Hindustani vocalist Shubha Mudgal. She had a varied repertoire of Thumuri, Chaiti, Kajari and Dadra welcoming the rain through elaboration of refrain and exposing effectively the mood of the raag. She was accompanied by Dr. Aneesh Pradhan on tabla and Sudhir on harmonium.

Bijay Kumar Jena

Orissa Dance Academy


The second evening of Megha Utsav commenced with the renderings of Odissi music by Guru Bijay Kumar Jena. From traditional compositions and from Rashika Harabali of Kavi Samrat Upendra Bhanja, Guru Jena invoked rain. The next item was Odissi Raganga and Chhanda presented by Mohapatra Minati Bhanja. Singing from the immortal compositions of the medieval Odia poets, Bhanja enthralled the audience and greeted the monsoon.

Next item was Barsha Varnali and Barsha Vishara by the artistes of Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar. The cycle of rain is connected to the very cycle of life. Rain is symbol of new life, regeneration, love and romance and the dancers depicted this spirit of the rain in their presentation. The last program was Bhojpuri songs and dances by Ajay Dube and group from Patna, Bihar. The artistes welcomed the advent of rain with songs and dance narrating the hopes and aspiration that the monsoon brings. Jijiya, Kajari and Sohar Pawaria made the audience dance to the rhythm of Bhojpuri artistes.

TM Krishna



On the valedictory evening, the first presentation was by Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna from Chennai. His complete involvement and his ability to unfold ragas with ease left many a listener lost in his scintillating music. His renditions of vilamba kalam (slow tempo) and compositions soaked with bhakthi (devotion) and bhava (emotion) are a treat to every listener. The Carnatic music recital was followed by contemporary dance 'Saawan' presented by Padatik Dance Centre, Kolkata. Saawan is the reflection of monsoon. Each and every drop of rain creates joy in human mind. As a result, the nayika gets prepared to be united with her beloved. The last presentation was Jhoomar which reflects the tradition and spirit of Odisha. Sajan Bal and group from Mayurbhanj danced to the rhythm of rain with the beats of madal, jhunga, chach, dugi, bela and flute.

The artistes who participated in the camp organised by Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi were felicitated for bringing monsoon on to their cavas. The dignitaries who graced the festival were singer and composer Raghunath Panigrahi, mardala Guru Banamali Maharana, Dr. Priyambada Hejmadi, Ratikant Mohapatra, Kumkum Mohanty, Laxmikant Palit, HS Upadhyay, Director, Tourism, Dr. Sarat Pujari, President, OSNA and Chitta Ranjan Mallia, Secretary, OSNA, Bijaya Nayak, Secretary, Odisha Sahitya Akademy, Rabi Rath, Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi, Ashok Kumar Tripathy, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sunil Kumar Das, Director, Culture, political dignitaries and eminent artistes.