Source: The Hindu; Author: Leela Venkataraman; Photo Courtesy: PTI

It was a heady cocktail of art expressions for the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award festival, very professionally organised and mounted for the 18th year in succession by Srjan, at Bhubaneswar’s Rabindra Mandap. Chiming in perfectly with a guru who could, even as an octogenarian, put youngsters half his age to shame with the power of his performance, was Bharatanatyam danseuse Vyjayantimala Bali. Her Swati Tirunal varnam in Kapi, “Sumasayaka”, after a homage to goddess Shivagami in Jaganmohini raga, kept the audience spellbound and enthralled at how age has left no mark on her grace, beguiling presence and stamina — the years only enhancing the deep involvement and communicative strength. The finishing moments by Srjan dancers were most fitting, and rendered by a group of finished disciples excellently rehearsed.

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Timeless grace: Vyjayanthimala Bali. Photo:PTI