Day 3 of GKCM Award festival: Audience captivated at Bharatnatyam, Sitar recital presentations



The third day of the 29th edition of the OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2023, found its piece-de-resistance of performances in P. Praveen Kumar’s Bharatanatyam presentation, followed by the tantalising Sitar recital of Niladri Kumar.

The inauguration was brief and elegantly conducted with the lighting of the lamp by the esteemed the third evening of the Award Festival began with the lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests Guru Aruna Mohanty, President, Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi and Secretary, Orissa Dance Academy, Subodh Chandra Acharya, Joint Director, Odia Language, Literature & Culture Department, Government of Odisha, Prabodh Kumar Rath, Secretary, Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, and Ratikant Mohapatra, Festival Director.

P. Praveen Kumar is no stranger to audiences across India. An accomplished performer, Nattuvanar and choreographer, exploring environmental, sociological, and traditional themes, he commenced his recital with a Muruga Kavutuvam, invoking the divine and extolling the great virtue is of Lord Muruga, who resides amidst the majestic mountains and dispels all the darkness from the lives of the ardent devotee. His commanding stage presence and nuanced presentation in this brief but befitting invocation set the tone for the evening, with his versatile choreographs and dancing finess

With the captivating musical accompaniment of Navyashree K.N. on the Nattuvangam, Vinay Nagarajan on the Mridangam, Mahesh Swamy on the Flute, and the mellifluous Shri R. Raghuram on Vocals, Praveen Kumar followed his invocation with a Varnam. While the varnam explored the well-known theme of Lord Krishna’s tales of tricks and triumphs, Praveen Kumar brought in a refreshing element of novelty by portraying the entire presentation, as though he were speaking to little Krishna.

The underlying Bhakti prevailed, while the perspective was that though address a child, not as a God, of his several glories. He also touched upon the episode of the Vishwarupa Darshana between Krishna and Arjuna. A composition of Thuraiyur Shri Rajagopala Sharma, this varnam was set to Raga Atthana and Adi Talam.

He concluded with a traditional Padam, a rare composition centred around the emotions of a Virahotkanthita Nayaka who is jilted by his beloved, after shunning his life and family for her. In despair and seeking solace, to absolve himself of all his sins, he seeks renunciation in the Holy city of Kashi. Set to Raga Mukhari and Mishra Chapu Talam, this presentation was an exploration into the depths of both nritta and abhinaya by P. Praveen Kumar, whose performance was much loved by all the rasikas.

The second recital for the evening was the Sitar performance of Shri Niladri Kumar, accompanied by Yashwant Vaishnav on the Tabla. Melding the contemporary world music space with the classical through his creative and masterful performances and compositions, He explored the beautiful nuances of the electrifying stringed instrument in his recital, reinforced by the rhythmic intricacies of Yashwant Vaishnav’s percussion play.

The third evening of the OMC GKCM Award Festival came to an end on a high, with this beautiful confluence of dance and music, bringing out the best of the classical fare to the Odisha audiences.

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