Rich tributes paid to Chhau dance Guru

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Baripada, Oct 7 (UNI) Chhau dance exponents, artists and admirers have paid rich tributes to Chhau dance Guru Madan Mohan Lenka on the 11th day after his demise here.

They described Lenka as a Guru par excellence, a dancer endowed with extraordinary skill and adroitness in the world famous Mayurbhanj style of Chhau dance.

Born on June 20,1914, Lenka started his career as a Chhau dancer at the age of 13. The teenaged boy, by dint of his devotion and dedication soon reached the pinnacle of his glory as a dancer.

So much so, he was inducted as a Court dancer by the then Maharaja of Mayurbhanj Late Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo.

Lenka's demise on September 24 has created a void in the arena of Mayurbhanj style of Chhau dance. He was 95 at the time of his demise.

Lenka's rich contributions immensely helped in the revival and rejuvenation of the Chhau dance that faced serious threats of decay in 1947 with the end of the Raj era and loss of royal patronage.

He gave a welcome lift to Chhau dance during this crisis period, Lenka's admirers said.

Lenka won great laurels when he demonstrated his classic dance called ''Kailash Leela'' in 1939. Nimai Mohanty, a noted lyricist and Oriya poet said that the theme of the dance reflects Lord Shiva as the creator of all music and dance, and how his ''tandav'' symbolised the cosmic annihilation of creation.

The central theme of his dance was the ''Navarashas or the nine states of the human emotions. These were Shringara, Karunya, Rudra, Saanta, Bhavana, Adbhuta, Veera,Bibhatsya and Hasya.

Other dances that brought Lenka into the limelight included ''Garuda Bahana'' and ''Premik-Premika'', Mohanty pointed out.

According to ''Uttarsahi Chhau Dance party'' President Arabinda Das, Lenka bagged a gold medal from the ex-ruler of Kanika for his performance in ''Premik-Premika''.

Maharaja of Mayurbhanj gave the ''land jagir'' to Lenka in recognition of his superb performance as Lord Shiva'' in Kailash-Leela'', Das added.

Lenka got the State Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1978 followed by the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1987, sources added.

UNI

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