Utsav Educational & Cultural Society, founded by Ranjana in 1987, is a cultural organization, which has been promoting & propagating Indian culture, dance & music for more than two decades to true connoisseurs of the art.
Students at UTSAV are trained under the guidance of Ranjana. They are taught in accordance with the structured syllabus of the University of Pracheen Kala Kendra (to which Utsav is affiliated).
Ranjana's most recent contribution to the propogation of Odissi is her book titled ' Odissi - The Dance Divine', released in February, 2007.
Odissi - The Dance Divine is a chronological survey of the form & style of the dance.
The art form today known as Odissi is the descendant of the temple dance that evolved in the Jagannath temple in Puri. Revered as one of the holiest places, the temple was the centre of culture, religion & artistic traditions. In the inner sanctum of this shrine was born the dance of the Mahari or temple dancer, which became a tradition & finds expression in the Geeta Govinda that presents Odissi dance as a niti or lifestyle.
The book explores the aesthetics of the dance, which is a living tradition till today. Besides that, it gives the readers a brief outline of the architects & contemporary gurus of the dance, & the eminent dancers who are in the forefront of the scenario. The book was launched on 13th February, 2007, at the India Habitat Centre, with Mrs. Gursharan Kaur as the Chief Guest.
Ranjana Gauhar is an independent film producer, researcher & scriptwriter, & has successfully produced many documentary films & television serials.
Ranjana has nurtured & developed concepts & proposals for films on a wide range of ideas of interest & concern to the contemporary viewer - environment, women issues, & culture & mythology in relation to life in the modern world.
Her productions include:
Nectar in Stone : a film exploring the cultural & historical linkage between Vietnam, Cambodia & India, & establishes their common bonding of spiritual & religious values over a period of 2000 years. It was produced with the support of XP Division, Ministry of External Affairs. The duration of the film is 55 minutes.
Saundarya Lahari: is a five-episode dance and music serial based on one of the greatest lyrical poem in Sanskrit literature “ Geet Govind ” written by saint poet Jaidev. This serial was commissioned by Doordarshan, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Produced by Ranjana Gauhar. Directed by Sadhna Shrivastav
Celestial Dancer's In The Temple Of Jagannath – Puri : This film portrays and explores tradition of Mahari – temple dancer in the temple of Jagannath . Funded by Ford Foundation , New Delhi . The duration of the film is 30 minutes.
Odissi Chandrika : a six episode serial which explores and unfolds in a fascinating way the origin, evolution and history of Odissi Dance to modern times. Commissioned by Doordarshan, Ministry of Information and Broadcast.
Prerna : is a film that highlights the struggle against evil of Indian womanhood at a social, spiritual and patriotic level. This is illustrated in dance and music through the stories of Durga, Savitri and Jhansi ki Rani portraying the strength, courage, valour and power of women in India . The duration of the film is one hour, Produced by Ranjana Films .
Manas Mandir : is a depiction through music and dance of the celebrations of
Navaratri and Ramnavami a popular festival, celebrated throughout India . The duration of the film is 30 minutes Produced by Ranjana Films .
Saranda Jungles: a film on tribal art and culture of Singh-Bhumi in Bihar , Produced by Ranjana films
Nupur: Presentation of Indian Classical and folk Dances: a ten episode serial, Produced by Ranjana Films .
All the above-mentioned programs have been telecasted on various T.V channels.
Ranjana Gauhar is dedicated to propagating Indian values through art and culture. Utsav has been inviting senior dancers from other institutions, to bring about a certain amount of standardization in the dance form. She has choreographed and staged many ballets based on the themes of mythology, woman's empowerment and environment, and conducted seminars on subjects relating to dance and music.
As an Promoter of Arts and as a Cultural Activist she has also been organizing seminars on Odissi Music as well as thematic festivals at an international level that have provided a platform to upcoming artists, promoted the cause of arts and has also initiated a dialogue among artists.
'Utsav' Ranjana’s Odissi Dance Company comprises dedicated, focused and committed young artists who have been personally trained by the renowned Odissi exponent, Padmashree and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee, Ranjana Gauhar.
The dance company has won appreciation of the audiences, critics and art lovers at several events and festivals held in India and abroad. Some of them are: Kalidas Samaroh (Ujjain), Nishagandhi Festival (Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala), Alwa’s Virasat Festival (Mangalore), Triveni Mahotsav (Allahabad), International Conference 'Namaste' (Hyderabad, ICCR festival, HCL Concert series at IHC, Festival in Kuwait, Konark Festival and many more. In September 2010, the repertory performed a series of dance recitals for ICCR’s festival of India “Namaste France” in France & in Europe.
Guru Ranjana Gauhar conceptualizes and designs performances of India’s centuries old traditions of philosophy, mythology and spirituality to suit the modern mindset, which is easily understood by all.
Our Productions: The repertory has a repertoire of full-fledged productions which include:
Chitrangada-New dance production based on the work of Nobel Laureatte Rabindranath Tagore
Darpan-Reflection of the tradition
Chandra Bhaga (a mythological story of Konark, Orissa)
Dehi Pad Pallam Udaram (Based on the Sanskrit poetry of Jayadev Geet Govind) Nal Damayanti (A ballet for the Mahabharats)
Prerna (On women’s empowerment)
Production based on Hindi poets including Nirala and others.