Bhubaneswar: The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2021 will be presented to Smt. Binodini Debi, veteran theatre artiste, for her invaluable contribution and lifetime achievement in the field of Odia theatre. The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman will be presented to Smt. Arushi Mudgal for Odissi dance and to Shri Ramachandra Behera for Odissi music (Mardala) acknowledging their dedication to their art forms and in recognition of their inspiring performances.
Over the last 26 years, what started as a one-day celebration of the classical Arts is now considered one of the finest classical dance and music festivals in India’s cultural calendar. The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (GKCM) Award Festival has always been organised with one specific aim—to create and sustain awareness of our classical traditions in dance and music. Last year, the COVID-19 outbreak led to several events that were hitherto unprecedented for most of the world. Against this backdrop, Srjan organised its first ever virtual Award Festival in 2020, and this year, Srjan once again hosts the OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival live on the Srjan GKCMON Facebook page and YouTube channel, from September 5th to September 9th, 2021, at 7.30 p.m. each day.
The Award Festival will be conducted with strict adherence to all the government-mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines, with virtual attendance of several dignitaries and luminaries from the world of Art.
The aim of instituting and presenting the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award, which carries a respectable allocation of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a citation, is to confer recognition upon individuals for their outstanding contribution to the fields of Dance, Music, Cinema, and Theatre. Over 26 years, Srjan has presented 61 such awards to luminaries from these fields. Additionally, the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman, with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/- and a citation is presented to exceptionally talented performing artistes under the age of 40 years in the field of classical dance and Odissi music to acknowledge their outstanding performances.
Srjan has dedicated this year’s festival in memory of Guruma, late Smt. Laxmipriya Mohapatra, the first ever dancer to perform Odissi on stage and the fountain of inspiration for many doyennes of Odissi dance.
This year, the dance presentations scheduled for the Award Festival include Odissi by Smt. Sharmila Mukerjee, Bharatanatyam by Smt. Anita Mallick, Sattriya by Dr. Anwesa Mahanta, and Kathak by Sushree Nikkita Banawalikar. The festival will also feature recitals by world-renowned Violinist, Dr. Sangeeta Shankar, popular Odissi vocalist, Shri Rupak Kumar Parida, acclaimed Hindustani vocalist, Smt. Manjusha Patil, and the reputed flautist, Shri Abhiram Nanda.
The concluding evening will feature the prestigious award ceremony, followed by the much-awaited finale by the Srjan ensemble. Srjan will present a bouquet of neo-classical choreographs in Odissi dance, conceptualized and choreographed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra. Beginning with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, Vinayaka Smarane, Srjan will explore the intricacies of neo-classical Odissi compositions with dances such as Parameshwari Pallavi and the experimental piece, titled Shiva Shangsanam, based on the Odissi idiom. This presentation pushes the boundaries of dance innovation with its novel style of execution. They also present Maati, a dance ballet based on the work of Shri Radha Mohan Gadanayak. The entire festival has been curated, conceptualized, and designed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, with the programme execution by Shri Debiprasad Mishra.
The 27th GKCM Award Festival has been sponsored by the title sponsor, Odisha Mining Corporation Limited (OMC) and gold sponsor, Odisha Tourism, Government of Odisha. The festival is supported by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and Dept. of Odia Literature Language and Culture, Govt of Odisha. The festival sponsor is the MGM Group, Bhubaneswar, media partners are Dharitri and Orissa Post, and web partner is Narthaki.com.