GKM Festival: hypnotized the public through a musical group

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Bhubaneshwar: The second evening of the 28e OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival 2022 hosted by Srjan on 6th Septembere featured memorable and aesthetically executed dance and music presentations beginning with an Odissi vocal recital by Sushree Sristi Swarupa Mishra, followed by a scintillating performance of Bharatanatyam by Vidushi Geeta Chandran and his ensemble, the Natya Vriksha Dance Collective, New Delhi.

After another commendable day of dancing, music and organizational precision, the third evening of the Award Festival began with the lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests Shri Ranjan Kumar Das, Director, Odia Language Literature & Culture, Government of Odisha; Shri Tathagat Satpathy, Editor, Dharitri & Orissa Post; and Dr. Itirani Samant, Editor-in-Chief, Kadambini. It was a resounding evening of music from the Shivagni Ensemble, as they seamlessly fused classical, contemporary, creative and experimental genres, creating superb listening pleasure for the audience.

Popularly credited with being the brainchild of Shri Ratikant Mohapatra (affectionately called “Shibu”) and Shri Agnimitra Behera, Shivagni combines a rich pool of talent and experience from 10 high-ranking musicians from Odisha. Artists included Shri Agnimitra Behera on violin, Shri Srinibas Satapathy on flute, Shri Deba Ranjan Nayak on lead guitar, Shri Pranav Pradhan on bass guitar, Shri Ramesh Chandra Behera on keyboard, Shri Milan Kumar Panda on vocals, Shri Biswa Ranjan Nanda on tabla, Shri Baibhab Kumar Das on percussion, Shri Samir Ranjan Pradhan on percussion and Shri Bikasit Sahu on drums. Their meeting demonstrated the vitality and appeal that good music, performed with perfect coordination and understanding, can provide.

They began their performance with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, Ganesha – The Vighnaharta. In this fitting beginning, they paid homage to Lord Ganesha, the destroyer of all obstacles and difficulties in life. Their next track, titled Keen, was a very evocative track played by the artists with intensity and passion, living up to its name. Celebrating Odisha’s pride, rooted in the state’s rich culture and heritage, Shivagni then paid homage to Odisha’s vibrant tradition through their performance. Odissi Fusion. The next presentation JumpThe rhythm of the falling rain, was a testament to the inherent rhythm of nature. Presenting the soothing sound of rain, which touches the hearts of all, near and far, the musicians of Shivagni mesmerized the audience with their realism and moving rendition of this track.

Whereas Jumpexplored the beauty of nature’s rhythm, Oasis evoked the concepts of faith, hope and optimism in the face of adversity, evoking the image of an oasis in the desert bringing respite and relief to weary hearts. Demonstrating their versatility, Shivagni then presented Kabiraa tribute to SantKabir, highlighting the great doha of the poet and the saint in a novel of reimagining and exploration of music and text.

Irish, a confluence of 16 different Ragas was inspired by the moving melodies of Irish folk tunes and harmony, presented as a journey through the various Ragas. The musicians wandered in and out of Irish tunes before entering more traditional Indian territory, all in Ragamala, for auditory pleasure. This was juxtaposed by the interpretation of touch of the sky, an experience of infinity.

In remembrance of the great poet and writer Odia, winner of the Padma Shri award, Shri Mayadhar Mansingh, Shivagni explored the song Sakale Daakanti Taming Taming, with sincere emotions and technical expertise. In their final presentation, Shivansh – The rhythm of spiritual beats, the auditorium echoed with the rhythmic beats and melodic notes of the musicians, as they paid homage to Lord Shiva, the creator and destroyer. The musicians explored the omnipresent and omniscient powers of the great Lord with their rhythmic complexities, harmonious notes and commanding stage presence.

An aural delight for the audience who saw his own orchestra playing to perfection, Shivagni, led by the expertise of Shri Agnimitra Behera and Shri Srinibas Satapathy, was aided by the skillful and distinctive light design of Shri Debiprasad Mishra and the brilliant sound engineering by Shri C. Anand Krishna. Online viewers can find the live stream on Srjan’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The festival is attended physically and virtually by several dignitaries, influential citizens, art world luminaries and audiences from across India and abroad. The entire festival was organized, conceptualized and designed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, with program execution by Shri Debiprasad Mishra. Shri Mrutyunjaya Rath and Smt. Anuja Mishra skilfully led the evening’s proceedings.

The penultimate evening of the festival, September 8, begins with a Carnatic vocal recital by Shri Sikkil Gurucharan, followed by a kathak recital by Vidushi Paramita Maitra and his ensemble Nrityangan Kathak Kendra (NKK).

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