Regarded as the “guru of gurus”, Guru Pankaj Charan Das – one of the founder fathers of Odissi dance who was the guru of his co-founders – is often referred to as the unsung hero of Odissi for the massive marginalization of his legacy. However, in his memory, his family members host three annual events that highlight his unique contribution to the dance tradition. One of the three events, the three-year- old Adiguru Pankaj Charan Das award festival hosted by the Guru’s grand daughter and young Odissi dancer Pallavi Das is one. Her two-day event, staged at Rabindra Mandap recently, was a humble homage to the Guru through dance and music.
The sessions devoted exclusively to the Guru’s choreographies were the most attractive feature of the festival . Gayatri Khuntia, the Guru’s senior-most disciple, staged two exclusive compositions of Pankaj Charan – Angikam Bhubanam and Kuru Yadunandana that highlighted the Guru’s approach towards the art and craft of choreography.