Of Dance & Culture: Mesmerising Odissi Recitals at Mukteswar Dance Festival

It was an evening of honouring Odisha’s rich cultural history. From the pages of Ramayana to Shiv Vandana, the atmosphere reverberated of spirituality.

The Mukteswar Dance Festival, jointly organised by Odisha Tourism in association with Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, got underway on January 14. The three-day flagship festival is held in the lawns of the iconic 10th century Mukteswar Temple in Bhubaneswar.

The event started with the customary ‘Shiva Vandana’ by Pt. A. Maheswar Rao and Group of Nad Ninad, Cuttack.

It was followed by a solo performance by Meera Das, founder of Gunjan Dance Academy. She mesmerised the audience with the performance called ‘Shabari,’ based on an episode from the epic Ramayana.

Mukteswar Dance Festival

Preetisha Mohapatra, granddaughter of Odissi dance exponent Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra presented a duet with Reebdhita Barua, an exponent from the Srijan ensemble. The talented duo performed on ‘Sri Rama Stuti,’ which was choreographed by Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra.

The final performance of the evening was a group Odissi presented by the students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya. The members performed ‘Shakti,’ choreographed by Guru Lingaraj Pradhan and Pankaj Kumar Pradhan.

Mukteswar Festival 2021

The event was organised under proper COVID-19 guidelines. The visitors were subjected to thermal screening and compulsory hand sanitisation upon entry. Inside the premises, the seating arrangement was made as per social distancing rules. The stage was sanitised before every performance.

Additional Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena; Principal Secretary, Tourism, Vishal Dev, OTDC Chairperson Shreemayee Mishra, Tourism Director Ramachandra Jadhav and Orissa Dance Academy Secretary Guru Aruna Mohanty were present at the inaugural evening.

The Mukteswar Dance festival will conclude on January 16.

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