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BHUBANESWAR, June 24, 1997

Sanjukta Panigrahi, the high priestess of Odissi passed away here early this morning.

Acknowledged as one of the most renowned classical dancers, Sanjukta (52), had been suffering from cancer for the last several months but the ailment was kept a closely guarded secret. The end came at 3-45 a.m.

Coming from a orthodox family, Sanjukta was the first Oriya girl to make classical dancing her career. She came under the wing of celebrated Odissi dance guru Padmashri Kelu Charan Mohapatra when she was only five. While exploring the depths of the Odissi dance form, inspired by the exquisite art on the temple walls of Bhubaneswar, Konark and Puri, she was also trained by several other gurus, including Pankaj Charan Das.


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