Veteran Theatre Artiste Binodini Devi Conferred With Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2021


Bhubaneswar: Odisha Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal on Thursday presented the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2021 to Smt. Binodini Devi for her immense contribution and lifetime achievement in the field of Theatre.

An Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, Smt. Binodini Devi is renowned for her acting in Abujha Raja ku Paalabinda Mantri, Parajhia Ghara Bhangena, Mu Eka Tumara, Agastya, Se Apana Mananka Bhitare, and Maati ra Manisha, to name a few films and dramas. This coveted award carries a respectable allocation of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a citation.

This was followed by the presentation of the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman, which focuses on reviving the all-important role of the solo artiste in the classical idiom. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25,000/- and a citation. Hon’ble Governor of Odisha Prof. Ganeshi Lal presented the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Prativa Samman 2021 to Arushi Mudgal for Odissi dance acknowledging her continued dedication to the art and in recognition of her inspiring performances, and to Ramachandra Behera, recognising his inspiring work and commitment to the field of Odissi music (Mardala).

The entire award ceremony was conducted with strict adherence to all the government mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines, while maintaining the required social distancing norms.

After four consecutive evenings of spectacular classical presentations, the 27th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival culminated in the award presentation ceremony and the finale by the Srjan ensemble.

Founded in 1993 by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Srjan symbolises Guruji’s humble offering of the classicism of Odissi dance, music, and percussion to our rich national ethos. Today, under the able direction and vision of Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, Srjan has evolved into one of India’s premier Odissi dance institutions. In these times of the ongoing pandemic, Srjan hosted the 27th 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 much-awaited finale was a presentation by the Srjan ensemble, who, under the direction of Shri Ratikant Mohapatra perform extensively within India and overseas, presenting compositions with fast-paced movements, innovations in dance and music, and depicting popular themes, within the Odissi idiom. This evening Srjan presented a bouquet of neo-classical innovations in Odissi dance, the presentations of which were all carefully and aesthetically conceptualized, and choreographed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, the driving force behind Srjan’s success.

Beginning with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, Vinayaka Smarane, the dancers paid their obeisance to Lord Ganesha, who enshrined in the consciousness of those who pray to him for health, wealth, longevity, and the fulfilment of individual destinies. The dance presentation was set to the music composition of Shri Vinod Kumar Panda.

In their second presentation, the Srjan ensemble presented a pure dance presentation, Parameshwari Pallavi, set to Raag Parameshwari and Khemta Taal. This new choreograph, featuring intricate rhythm patterns, with crisp footwork by the dancers was choreographed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, and composed by Shri Jateen Kumar Sahu.

This was followed by the dance ballet, Maati, written by renowned Odia poet, Shri Radha Mohan Gadanayak. Maati is a homage to Mother Earth, who accepts everything that she is destined to be burdened with. She earns the ultimate victory in God’s eyes for her humility, the forbearance and eternal grace, meriting the most profound of praise and blessings. The dance choreography was done by Shri Ratikant Mohapatra. The music composition is by Shri Laxmikant Palit and the script adaptation, by Shri Jaydev Das. This exemplary composition was presented with great energy and synchronization by the dancers.

The finale, an experimental piece, titled Shiva Shangsanam, was an absolute visual delight. Based on the Odissi idiom, this presentation pushes the boundaries of dance innovation with its novel style of execution. Dancing to the lyrics, Chandrachooda Shiva Shankara Gauri Ramana Yate Namo Namaha, the dancers paid obeisance to Lord Shiva, the Supreme Lord. While the original Kriti was composed by Saint Purandara Dasa, the Sanskrit adaptation is by Pt Nityananda Misra. The original music of Shri Navaneeth Sundar, was adapted for this composition by Shri Agnimitra Behera and Priyabrata Dash Mohapatra.

The performing artistes for the evening were Smt. Rajashri Praharaj, Ritu Sengupta, Pragna,  Riyanka, Aiswariya Singhdev, Sipra Swain, Preetisha Mohapatra, Reebdhita Barua and Maya Krishnamurty. The dancers displayed wonderful synergy, aestheticism, and coordination in their energetic and captivating presentation. Their meticulous training and near 365-day practice routine showed in their skilful performances. Aided by the brilliant light designing of Shri Debiprasad Mishra, and upholding their commitment towards diligence and professional excellence in their service of art, Srjan conducted the programme seamlessly on the online platforms. The festival was also attended virtually by several dignitaries, influential citizens, luminaries from the world of Art, and audiences from across India and abroad. The entire festival was curated and designed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, with the programme execution by Shri Debiprasad Mishra. The MC for the festival was Maya Krishnamurty, member of the Srjan ensemble.

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