Guru Gangadhar Pradhan's training began at the age of six, where he was given to the Balunkeswar temple in the village of Dhimirisena (Puri district, Orissa) to be trained as a gotipua dancer. The gotipuas are young male dancer who dress as women and whose history goes back to at least three hundred years. The main Odissi gurus of today hail from the gotipua lineage.

Pradhan was trained by eminent gurus like Banchinidhi Pradhan, Chandrasekhar Patnaik and Mahadev Raut. He later went on to become a student of Utkal Sangeet mahavidyala, Bhuvaneswar and received further training under Pankaj Charan Das, Deba Prasad Das, Dr.Minati Mishra and Dhirendranath Patnaik. After his graduation he received advanced training from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. He also received intensive training in mardala, under the legendary master Singhari Shyam Sundar Kar and Guru Banamali Maharana. Guru Pradhan is known both nationally and internationally for his excellent accompaniment for the famous dancer Late Shrimati Sanjukta Panigrahi.

Guru Pradhan has founded the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar which imparts training not only in Odissi dance, but in other forms of regional dances as well. The Academy organizes and participates in cultural programs throughout the year and has given an annual five-day dance festival since 1985. It has several affiliated branches in different parts of Orissa, India, U.S.A., Canada and Netherlands, where Guru Pradhan performs periodically and imparts traning to hundreds of students.

He has trained and guided a number of well-known accomplished dancers and teachers, namely, Dipti Sahu, Aruna Mohanty, Minakshi Behera, Nandita Patnaik, Chapala Mishra, Mamata Nayak, Sarat Priya Patjoshi, Anita Babu, Kanduri Charan Behera, Bichitrananda Swain, Manoranjan Pradhan, Somnath Pradhan, Bibhuti Bhushan Balabantaray, Ramesh Jena, Sangeeta Hazarika, Ellora Patnaik and Durga Bor.

Guru Pradhan has started 'Adarsh Utkal', a cultural family for social and cultural development. But his life's ultimate dream is the 'Konark Natya Mandap' which began over barren piece of land in 1978 at Konark and has developed into a lush haven for art and culture which sponsors cultural programs on a stage in natural surroundings throughout the year. The highlight is the annual five-day festival of music and dance which first began in 1986 and has since grown in quality and popularity. Guru Pradhan's main goal is to develop Konark Natya Mandap anto an international performing and teaching point for artists from all over the world and to maintain a Gurukula Ashram there.

Guru Gangadhar Pradhan has to his credit several choreographies and dance dramas for both stage and television and may be regarded as on of the most dedicated masters and dynamic organizer for proper development of Oriya culture. He received the State Academy Award in 1993 and the National Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1998.



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