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Sanjukta Panigrahi

Sanjukta Panigrahi Noted Odissi danseuse died on 24 June 1997 at the age of 53. Born in a respectable and orthodox family, Sanjukhta was the first Oriya girl to embrace this classical dance at an early age and ensure its grand revival. She started performing Odissi at the age of six under the guidance of Guru Padma Bhusan Kelu Charan Mahapatra and bagged the first prize in the International Children's Film Festival in 1952. Panigrahi resurrected Odissi dance from obscurity and made it famous the world over. She was the first woman artiste to be allowed to perform in the Shankatmochan temple festival some years ago. She also founded the Kalinga Kalakshetra to impart training in Odissi dance and promote performing arts. Sanjukta was the first ever artiste who choreographed and performed the non-traditional lyric within the limits of the Odissi style and her experiment with the Surdas Padmavalli, Tagore songs, Bhagwad Geeta and Tulsi Ramayan were highly successful. Being the exponent of both Bharatnatyam and Odissi, she took great interest and initiative in explaining the originality of the Odissi style and established it as an independent style of Indian classical dance. She was awarded Padma Shri in 1975.


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