Born in a
respectable and orthodox family, Sanjukta was the
first Oriya girl to embrace this classical dance at
an early age and ensure its grand revival.
She took this
classical dance to all parts of the world, performed
in every nook and corner and established herself as a
renowned classical dancer, producing innovative dance
ballets on varied subjects.
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. That was the first
time that the Odissi dance form was known to
She was the
only female artist of Orissa to embrace Odissi
dancing as her career, performing continuously.
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
toured extensively and gave enthralling performance
and had been able to give Odissi, hitherto a
neglected dance style, a status equal to any other
recognised classical dance form of India.
in the Nrutyashree in Odissi and Nrutya Praveena in
Bharatnatyam style with Kathakali as second subject,
Sanjukta took her diploma from Kala Vikash Kendra at
Cuttack and diploma in Nurutya Praveena at the
Kalakhetra of Rukmini Devi Arundale of Madras.