Bhubaneswar, July 10 (LocalWire): The 71st birth anniversary of late Odissi exponent, Guru Gangadhar Pradhan was observed today.
He was the president of Orissa State Sangeet Natak Akademi and promoted and preserved the classical tradition and culture through the Konark Dance and Music Festival, Dhauli Mahotsav, Kalinga kala Utsav and Odissi Sandhya every year.
Born on 10 July 1948 in Parikula to Muralidhar Pradhan and Dwitika Devi, in Puri district, from the early age of five, he served as a devotee of Lord Shiva in a temple.
There he did chores, helped his seniors, looked after the harvest, studied and took dance lessons on Gotipua, a dance form, where boys dress up as girls to perform.
In 1966, he joined Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in Bhubaneswar.
Gradually, he started giving personal tutions to students.
Then came opportunities in Oriya films, opera and theatres where he choreographed plays and productions. He completed his Nrityacharya degree course in 1971.
He was involved with Ekamra theatres from 1969. He found a patron in Kamala Lochana Mohanty of Ekamra.
Pradhan married Sulochana in 1972. They have four children, two sons and two daughters.
From 1979–96 Guruji travelled with Padmashree Late Sanjukta Panigrahi.
Guruji received several honours and awards.
Notable among them are the state Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1993 and the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1998 and the Padmashree in 2008.
He breathed his last in Bhubaneswar in 2010.