Day 4 Of GKCM Award Festival: Audience Captivated At Kuchipudi, Tabla Recital Presentations


The penultimate evening of the 29th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2023 on September 8th commenced with the lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests Shri Prabodh Kumar Rath, Secretary, Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Guru Dhaneswar Swain and Guru Satchidananda Das, renowned Mardala Exponents of
Odisha who are all known across the country for their stellar contributions to the field of
percussion; and Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, Festival Director.

Amrita Lahiri, the first artiste for the evening presented a captivating three-piece
Kuchipudi recital, ably accompanied on the nattuvangam by Shri Vijay Kumar S; on the
mridangam by Shri Satish Krishnamurty; on the violin by Smt. Mangala Vaidyanathan; and on the mellifluous vocals by the Shri Sujesh Menon. She began with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, seeking His auspicious blessings to commence the programme.

Describing the joyous dance of Lord Ganesha through her laudable stage presence and crisp movements, Ananda Narthana Ganapatim, a choreography of Shri
Jaikishore Mosalikanti was a befitting invocation to the evening.

After this, she performed Usha Parinayam, from a Kuchipudi dance drama that she learnt under the able training of Smt. Swapnasundari. In this solo version of the dance drama, rich with drama and emotions, the dancer enters as the titular character Usha, dreaming of the handsome prince who embraced her in her sleep.

In a nuanced portrayal of this nayika, Amrita Lahiri enacted the awakening of Usha from her dream and the interaction with her sakhi, reminiscing the handsome prince who loved her and went away.

She concluded with a powerful Shiva Tarangam, a choreograph of Shri Jaikishore
Mosalikanti. The presentation described the glories and majestic of the Almighty Nirguna
Parabrahma, from the top of whose matted locks, the Holy Ganga descends. A portrayal of the story of her descent from his Jata, this majestic Tarangam ended with the dancer dancing on a plate, a trademark of Kuchipudi and a delight to watch, with Amrita Lahiri’s control and stage presence.

After a brief interlude commenced the much-awaited Tabla recital of Ustad Akram Khan
accompanied by the melodious Harmonium play of Shri Nilay Salvi. The audiences
witnessed an intricate, and rhythmically captivating percussion recital, that set the auditorium reverberating to the timbre of Akram Khan’s delightful Tabla play, rendered effortlessly.

These versatile presentations concluded the penultimate evening of the festival.

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