Guru Pankaj Charan Das

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Guru Pankaj Charan Das

Born: 17 March 1919

Died: 11 June 2003

  • He is an Indian classical dancer, choreographer and the Ādi Guru of Odissi dance.
  • He is known as the ‘Father of Odissi dance’.
  • He was the adopted son of a mahari (temple dancer) Ratna Prabha Devi and from her, he learnt the art of devotional movement.
  • He was responsible to revive the dance form that later became the base for the birth of Odissi.
  • He was the man who was responsible for bringing Odissi out of the temple precincts into broad daylight.
  • He was also awardees of Padmashree in 1992.
  • His dance was laden with bhakti rasa and each of its movements spelt the holy name of Lord Jagannath.
  • He strictly followed the Mahari style in his dance.
  • He was especially adept in group choreographies and has left his indelible impression on masterpieces like Glānisanghāra, Matrubandanā, Balagopālashtaka and many more.
  • His expertise dealt with both Odia and Sanskrit language.
  • His choreographed dance episodes based on the lives of great poets of India Kalidas and Jayadeba.
  • In mid-life he was made the head of the department of Odissi dance, in Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, the only college of dance & music of Odisha.
  • He was associated with the college for more than 25 years and later retired as the Principal.
  • He taught the famous Gurus – Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Late Guru Deba Prasad Das, Guru Mayadhar Raut, Bhagaban Sahu, Almost all the established Gurus who are now working and teaching Odissi Dance, Rajasthani dance not only in India but throughout the world have received vital guidance and knowledge from Guru Pankaj Charan Das.’

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