Raghunath Dutta

Born on 1 February 1933 in Masudpur village in Cuttack district, Orissa, Shri Raghunath Dutta initially trained as a Gotipua dancer under the guidance of Shri Padmanava Dalai and started taking part in Jatras. In 1945 he joined the Annapurna Theatre Group as a dancer, where he received fur- ther training from Gurus Pankaj Charan Das and Dayal Sharan. In 1953 he joined Kala Vikash Kendra, Cuttack, where he came under the tutelage of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra from whom he learnt Odissi dance for several years. From Shri Harihar Raut he learnt the Pakhawaj. He also trained in Kathak under Pandit Ram Gopal Mishra. Shri Raghunath Dutta prepared for a career as a dance teacher by assisting Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra in his training work. Later, he started teaching on his own at Kala Vikash Kendra, and from 1971 up to his retirement in 1994 served as head of its Odissi dance department. Shri Dutta has trained a large number of dancers and has enriched the Odissi dance repertoire through his compositions. He has also choreographed dance- dramas, and has directed dance sequences in twelve Oriya films. Among other honours, he received the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1984. Shri Raghunath Dutta receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Odissi dance.