A beautiful tribute to dance

Mesmerising Show

A beautiful tribute to dance

The 25th edition of ‘Dance DISCourse’, Tribhangi, organised by the Alliance Francaise and Ashish Mohan Khokar, was conducted recently.

It saw some very talented artistes coming together to showcase the different forms of odissi. The session began with a 20-minute film, which showcased the roots of the dance and also some stalwarts of this art form like Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Sanjukta Panigrahi and Ghanshyam Panda. The missing sound file of the film did not seem to bother the audience thanks to the running commentary provided by Ashish Mohan Khokar.

“This film traces the history of temple architecture and dance. This is a rare clip, in which we get to see the three big names of odissi — Kelucharan Mohapatra, Sanjukta Panigrahi and Ghanshyam Panda — at the prime of their career. The film also has some rare clips of the temple dancers or mohari dancing in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. It clearly shows the emergence of this dance form.

Ghotipua, a tradition where young boys dress up as girls and dance for the gods, has also been captured in the film,” explains Khokar. The show opened with a mesmerising performance by tiny tots, who paid obeisance to Lord Jagannath. They had been trained by danseuse Madhulita Mohapatra. The second half of the show saw senior dancers like Sharmila Mukherjee, Gayatri Ranbir, Meghana Das and Madhulita Mohapatra presenting dance pieces composed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Mayadhar Raut and Debaprasad  Das.

The floor was open for discussion and the audience actively participated in it, asking questions and lending their opinions. Swapna, a member of the audience, was quite intrigued with the concept of an open discussion after a classical dance performance. “This is my first time at the ‘Dance DISCourse’ and the idea of having a discussion after a performance is quite new to me. I enjoyed the performance thoroughly and the discussion opened my eyes to many topics which I was not aware of earlier,” she says.

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