If you are a tourist in Odisha, be ready to expect the unexpected. In a positive manner of course! I was eager to be part of the Mukteswar Dance Festival set against the iconic temple along with my friend and a known tourism fellow Hans Joerg Hussong from Germany.
We walked into the venue which was a marvel to look at with trees adorned with the famous Pipili lanterns.
The inaugural act was the chorus Shiva Vandana performed by GKCM ORC from Bhubaneswar which set the tone right for the rest of the evening followed by the solo Odissi performance by Surupa Sen from Bangalore.
Both the acts enthralled the packed audience which consisted of both national and foreign nationals. I spoke with people from France, Japan, Russia, China and Germany and we all agreed that the event was a marvelous one and gives one a glimpse into the rich heritage and culture Odisha is world famous for.
All the art and music connoisseurs who congregated at the event from different ‘gharanas’ were mesmerized by the flawless display of music and dance as well. The picturesque Mukteswar temple seemed to have lit up by the focused energy of the dancing footsteps of the artistes.
The utter naturalness of the Odissi duet performance by dancers Rajiv Bhattacharya and Subikash Mukherjee from Kolkata was a feast to the eyes as the pair came repeatedly rushing forward to the edge of the stage and enacted scenes from the Mahabharata.
In the end, the Odissi group performance by Pravat Kumar Swain and group (Nrutya Naibedya) demonstrated graceful synergy in the dance movements and a remarkable lightness of execution.