Birabar Sahoo

Born in 1930 in Khurda district of Orissa, Shri Birabar Sahoo trained in Gotipua dance under Guru Arjuna Panda and Bauribandhu Pal. He also learnt to sing the conventional songs and to play the Mardala. Among the seniormost teachers of Gotipua dance, Shri Birabar Sahoo has been training students at the Konark Natya Mandap for many years. He has conducted, with the support of Sangeet Natak Akademi, a special training programme in Gotipua dance and music from 2000 to 2005. He has also conducted several dance workshops. Artists trained by Shri Sahoo have performed at major dance festivals around the world, and quite a few are established as teachers of Odissi dance. The latter include Gangadhar Pradhan, Lingaraj Barik, Bichitra Nandan Swain, Vijay Kumar Barik, and Bijay Kumar Das. For his sustained work in the field, Shri Sahoo has been honoured with the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1997. He has also received other honours such as Utkal Atma conferred by the Ori- French Cultural Organization in 2006. Shri Birabar Sahoo receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his service in the development of Gotipua dance and music.