Kelucharan Mohapatra

Born in 1926 in the village of Raghurajpur in Puri district of Orissa, Shri Kelucharan SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI FELLOWS 20 Mohapatra is foremost among the contemporary makers of Odissi dance. Early in life he joined the Raslila troupe of Shri Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami and later at Annapurna Theatre, Cuttack, was groomed as a dancer by Shri Pankaj Charan Das and Shri Dayal Saran. He also mastered various percussion instruments, especially Pakhawaj, learning from Shri Agadhu Moharana, Shri Khetra Mohan Kar, and Shri Harihar Rao. Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra joined Kala Vikash Kendra, Cuttack, in 1956 and in subsequent years made a singular contribution to the revival and enrichment of Odissi dance as a guru and choreographer. A dedicated teacher and prolific creator, Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra has trained a large number of dancers over the last four decades including Shrimati Sanjukta Panigrahi and Shrimati Sonal Mansingh. As a choreographer, he has extended the repertoire and technique of Odissi dance. He is also an outstanding Pakhawaj-player. In recent years Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra has reemerged as a performer specializing in abhinaya, participating in major national and international events including the Festivals of India abroad. He is presently imparting training at the Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar. Among various honours, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1966, the Padma Shri in 1972, and the Padma Bhushan and Kalidas Samman in 1989. For his contribution to Indian dance, Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.