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Anand Utsav
- Jayanti Sarmah
Photos courtesy: Mayadhar Raut School of Odissi Dance

April 7, 2021

Jayantika - Mayadhar Raut School of Odissi Dance organised Anand Utsav (March 23-25, 2021) at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, celebrating the 90th birthday of Guru Mayadhar Raut, the doyen of Odissi dance. The festival was inaugurated by Debjani Chakrabarty, IAS, Special Resident Commissioner, Govt of Odisha, and a connoisseur of art and culture.

Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar

Elangovan Govindarajan

Widely acclaimed singer and music composer Elangovan Govindarajan began the evening with the soulful rendition of the popular 'Poorvi Tillana'. M V Chandrasekhar and Raghuraman Govindarajan lent support to him on the mridangam and flute respectively. This was followed by a mesmerizing Sarangi recital by Ustad Kamal Sabri. He played raga Jog and was ably supported by his disciple Adnan. Jagannath and Rameez Raza accompanied them on the tabla. The concluding item of the evening was a Dhrupad recital by Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar. He enthralled the audience with his powerful rendition of Bhavani. He had good support of the talented Mohan Shyam Sharma on the pakhawaj.

The second day began with the inauguration by Yogacharya Ravi Shankar Bhatt Tejasvi. The first presentation was an Odia song by Dr Sonali Pradhan.This abhinaya was based on a 15th century Odia poem by Raja Bhramarabara Birabara Rai, the then king of Athagarh in Odisha.The song describes how Krishna was dancing with Radha among gopis under the Kadamba tree.A graceful dancer with intense facial expressions, Sonali did justice to the choreography of Guru Mayadhar Raut. Dr Priyanka Venkateswaran presented ashtapadi "Yahi Madhava Yahi Keshava" from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda. Priyanka impressed the audience with the powerful portrayal of khandita nayika. This ashtapadi composed by Guru Mayadhar Raut is widely performed by senior dancers all over the world. Guru Dr Pitambar Biswal was the last performer of the evening. He presented abhinaya "Satte ki bhangi kala" in which Radha describes the mischievous Krishna to her sakhi and how she fell for his magnetic beauty. Choreographed by Guru Biswal himself, this pure abhinaya cast a magical spell on the rasikas.

Nitya Pant

Ankita Nayak

The concluding evening's first performer was Nitya Pant. She presented 'Dashavatar' from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, choreographed by Guru Mayadhar Raut. Her delineation of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu was a visual treat. It was followed by a tandava piece by the young and dynamic dancer Ankita Nayak. She presented "Jago Maheshwar," one of the master compositions of Guru Mayadhar Raut. Ankita did justice to this difficult and complex piece of tandava. The beauty of this choreography is that Guruji has incorporated numerous tandava poses from Shiva temples like the Chidambaram, Lingaraj, Pashupatinath and others spread all over India and Nepal in this piece. Another striking aspect of the item is that stories from Shiva Puran are interwoven into the sanchari bhava of the song. The evening concluded with a stellar Odissi performance by Lucky Mohanty. His presentation of Durga Stuti, another masterpiece composition of Guru Mayadhar Raut, was impressive. Born out of holy fire, Durga is blessed by Brahma,Vishnu and Maheshwara. She is the Shakti who combats evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity and dharma.The chief guest for the evening was Shashiprabha Tiwari, a well known dance and music critic.

Lucky Mohanty

The festival brought stalwarts and upcoming artistes on one platform. It was an enthralling experience for the dance and music lovers of the city as they enjoyed the live music recitals and dance performances whole heartedly. Anand Utsav was curated by Odissi exponent Madhumita Raut.

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