Director: Kumkum Mohanty
Duration: 00:17:02; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 32.577; Saturation: 0.415; Lightness: 0.140; Volume: 0.109
Summary: The 4th International Odissi Dance Festival in 2011 was held from December 23 to 30, 2011, at Rabindra Mandap Bhubaneswar. The festival was preceded by an attempt to create a world record by having around 550 dancers perform together at Kalinga Stadium. It saw the participation of most major Odissi ensembles in Orissa and a few from outside the state. With performances for over twelve hours each day, the festival featured several hundred performers in solo, duet and group works over eight days. In its scale, the festival offered a bird's eye view of the landscape of contemporary Odissi and its ever-changing nature. It foregrounded new trends in choreography, music and costuming. The seminars during the festival sparked lively debates on issues and concerns in Odissi. One such concern, voiced repeatedly, questioned the definition of tradition within the space of the dance form and the limits it could be stretched to. This raised parallel questions about innovation and experimentation in Odissi - a debate that found itself mirrored in the performances during the festival.
Kumkum Mohanty ran away from home as a toddler to follow a brass band in a wedding procession. Though she was found soon after, in the care of a vigilant paan shop owner, she fondly cherishes her memory of that incident as a sign of her inextricable links with dance and music. Along with Sanjukta Panigrahi and Priyambada Hejmadi Mohanty, she was one of the earliest students of Kelucharan Mohapatra in the fifties, when he worked with others to establish Odissi as a classical dance form. Besides making her name as a dancer, Mohanty pursued a career in the civil services, ending her career in a post and place close to her heart, as the chief executive of the Odissi Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, set up in the mid 1980s.
This is a piece she has choreographed herself, on a popular heroine from the Ramayana, Surpanakha, examining her love for Rama at various levels.