Bhubaneswar, January 8 (Localwire): Legendary Indian classical dancer Kelucharan Mohapatra is credited with reviving and popularising Odissi dance form in the 20th century.
He was born in the family of artist and the story of his life is one of struggle and unending dedication for Odissi and his devotion and dedication shaped the classical dance form into a global name.
For him, dance was Sadhana and teaching his Dharma.
As the world celebrates his 94th birth anniversary on Wednesday, 8 January 2020, LocalWire pays respect to the dance mastero and guru buy listing down lesser-known facts about him.
He is the first person to receive the Padma Vibhushan from Odisha.
He was born in Raghurajpur, Odisha and his father Chintamani Mohapatra was a patachitra artist who painted religious folk motifs on thinly woven cloth. His father also played Mrudangam.
Guru Mohan Goswami played an important role in his life, as a Guru, a father, and a protector. He joined Rass part of Goswami where he spent 12 years. Later he started to play mature roles like that of Krishna.
Devi Bhasmasura brought Kelucharan into the limelight.
In 1953 he joined the Kala Vikas Kendra at Cuttack, the first college of music and dance, and included a course on Odissi in its curriculum. After leaving the Kendra, Kelucharan traveled to different cities of India to teach and spread Odissi. He was a regular visiting faculty at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Delhi.
The renowned exponent of Odissi dance was also an accomplished musician, choreographer, and motivator.
The doyen of Odissi was instrumental in getting the “classical” status for the dance form.
He was a true guru and his famous disciples include: Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kumkum Mohanty, Sonal Mansingh, Minati, Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi, Pratima Bedi and Madhavi Mudgal
Assisted by his son and eminent dancer Ratikanta Mohapatra, in 1994 he set up Srijan, an organisation dedicated to teaching the nuances of the art form to the young generation.
He was honoured with Padma Shree in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and Padma Vibhushan in 2000. He was also awarded the Sangeeth Natak Akademi award in 1966 and conferred an honorary Doctorate by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. He was also conferred Kalidas Samman in 1987 and Shankardev Award in 2001.
The first generation Odissi Guru, Kelucharan has over 200 solo compositions and about 50 dance dramas to his credit. He choreographed Panchapuspa, Krushna Gatha, Geeta Govinda, Urbashi, Krushna Leela, Sakhigopal, Konark and Sri Kshetra.