In keeping with Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s heartfelt wishes, we at Srjan have been conducting the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival for the last 24 years. After his passing in 2004, this event has assumed special meaning for all of us‐his students and all those whom he has touched worldwide.
The aim of instituting and presenting the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award is to confer recognition upon individuals for their outstanding contribution to the fields of Dance, Music, Cinema, and Theatre. Furthermore, the Award Festival has always been organised with one specific aim – to create and sustain awareness of our classical traditions in dance and music. The aim here is to give our Odisha audience an exposure to classical fare of the highest level, presenting stellar performances by classical artistes whom they have not had the opportunity to witness. This year’s festival is scheduled to be held from 5th to 11th September 2019 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.
This 25th year celebration of the GKCM Award Festival is a special occasion for Srjan, and to commemorate this, we are hosting a seven‐day festival in place of the annual five‐day event. Srjan has curated this year’s festival with a range of music recitals featuring world renowned artistes, with a special evening highlighting Odissi music. Furthermore, to honour and pay tribute to Guruji’s lifelong passion of Odissi dance, all dance performances over this seven‐day award festival are group presentations by established and well‐known Odissi dance institutions of Odisha. The festival will also feature a special solo recital by Smt. Niharika Mohanty, senior disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Odissi exponent and founder‐director of Guru Shradha, California, USA. Details of the programme are enclosed.
This year, instead of the two awards presented each year to acclaimed artistes from the fields of Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema, we present five such awards. The NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award has a respectable allocation of Rs. 1,00,000/‐ to each artiste and acitation. The “NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2019” will be presented to Guru Harmohan Khuntia, Tabla maestro, for his immense contribution to the field of Music, to Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, veteran Odissi dance Guru for his invaluable work to the field of Dance, to Dr. Sunil Kothari and Smt. Leela Venkataraman, eminent Dance Critics and Authors, for theirlifetime achievements and contribution to the performing arts, and to renowned Art Photographer, Sri Avinash Pasricha, for his pioneering work in the field of Photography.
In addition to the above, the Nalco Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Prativa Samman, will be given to five exceptionally talented performing artistes under the age of 40 years in the field of classical dance & Odissi music to acknowledge their outstanding performances. Its primary focus is to revive the all‐important role of the solo dancer in the classical idiom, in an effort to instill a continuing sense of purpose in the young dancer and bring to life the individual brilliance that the dancer lives for, and strives for. The NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Prativa Samman 2019 is presented with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/‐ each and a citation, and this year it will bepresented to Smt. Swapnokalpa Dasgupta (Odissi Dance), Sri Rahul Acharya (Odissi Dance), Smt. Rajashri Praharaj (Odissi Dance), Smt. Anwesa Mahanta (Sattriya Dance), and Sri Satyabrata Katha (Odissi Music).
After the GKCM Award presentation on 11th September, the Srjan dance ensemble will present the production ‘Namami Gange’ choreographed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, scripted by Pandit Nityananda Mishra, and set to Shri Lakshmikant Palit’s music. ‘Namami Gange’ is the story of the descent of mother Ganga from the locks of Lord Shiva. Beginning with an invocation to Ganga, the story of the river starts with the Ashwamedha Yagna of King Sagara. It moves on to cover its journey from the Himalayan peaks, through the hills of Gomukh, travelling across the Gangetic plains, and finally into the Bay of Bengal. Once, in its glorious past, mother Ganga provided enormous benefits to all who inhabited its banks, and ungrateful man in his greed and his folly has repaid the river’s generosity with senseless acts of destruction and desecration. Today, we the people of India have begun to reap the consequences of the violence and spoilage unleashed upon our mother, our very own Ganga. Let us wake up before the river finds its agony unbearable, before Ganga submerges into the agonised throes of its own destruction and death. We must act now, and pledge to restore those divine waters to their original purity, sanctity, and health. Let us pledge to enable mother Ganga to flow tirelessly, unceasingly, eternally, forever smiling, forever nurtured by our own kindness.
Bearing a strong social and environmental message, ‘Namami Gange’ is a production in the neo‐classical style of Odissi, appealing to the people of our nation to respect Mother Ganga, and bring her back to her purest form. Every year, the Award Festival is ably supported by organisations which have been instrumental in the success of Srjan’s many endeavours.