Mixed fare at Mukteswar

The vast space with the marvellous 10th century Mukteswar temple as the backdrop created a mesmerising, aesthetic atmosphere for the Mukteswar dance festival organised by The Odisha Development Corporation Ltd. (OTDC) and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi from January 14-16 at Bhubaneswar. The event was well managed and coordinated (Sangita Gosain), although the performances offered a mixed fare. Many of the performances were mediocre, and it was disappointing to see some lacklustre presentations by young national awardees. Every evening, the festival began with choral music by different groups, each one offering some great moments of musical synergy, with elevating devotionals addressed to Lord Siva – that set the apt mood for the festival. Utkal Sangita Mahavidyalaya (Siva Pancharatna), Dheeraj Mohapatra and group (Sambhu Natanam) and Om Prakash Mohanty and group (Siva Vandana - Om Mukteswaraya) provided the ecstatic start every evening.