Sanjukta Panigrahi






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.

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. That was the first time that the Odissi dance form was known to outsiders.

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.

Specialising 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.