May 30, 2015 Bhubaneswar
April 1, 2015
Tridhara Odissi dance school organizes its two-month summer workshop in the distinct Debaprasad Das style of dance in different cities of India and its premises in Bapuji Nagar, Bhubaneswar from April 1 – May 29, 2015.
Late Debaprasad Das was one of the founder fathers of Odissi dance who had taken Odissi to all continents through his disciple late Indrani Rahman. Guru Debaprasad had founded the Tridhara dance organization three decades ago. Under direct supervision of Guru Gajendra Panda the workshop will be conducted. Dancers from India, Australia, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore will attend the workshop. That will culminate in a one day festival DEBASMRUTI at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar on 30th of May where the workshop participants will perform solo, duet, trio and group compositions.
Date: May 30, 2015
Venue: Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar
Guru Debaprasad Das was born in 1932 in Keul Chhabi Sua village near Jhankada in District Cuttack. His father Durga Charan Das was a police inspector. He lost his mother Indramani Devi when he was one year old. He learnt Chhanda, Chaoupadi, Keshaba Koili, Kantakoili, Manobodha Chautisa, etc. from his grandfather Bauri Bandhu Das, a clerk by profession who was a violin player as well as a music director of a Natua Troupe at Keul. Debaprasad went to Puri and stayed with his uncle for continuing studies. But he was not interested in his studies and was drawn more to dance and music, drama, jatra, painting etc for which he was punished many times but nothing cooled his passion for music and dance. He joined Gotipua troupe of Guru Mohan Charan Mohapatra of the Pathara Akhada. He also went to Ganjam and learnt terracotta painting from Prahalad Patel. In 1944, he was employed as an actor in New Theatres and was there until 1949. He took female roles as well as those of a comedian.
He joined Annapurna Theatre as a dancer and comedian where he got an opportunity to learn various classical and folk dances from Guru Kumar Dayal Sharan of Madras. He started teaching Gotipua dance to eager students. Guru Deba Prasad was the first local man to teach Odissi dance to non-Oriya dancers; the famous Indrani Rahman was his shishya. He joined Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay in 1964 as an Odissi dance lecturer. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1977 and an award from World Development Corporation in 1983. He also received a senior fellowship from the Department of Culture, Government of India for research on dance. Guru Debaprasad Das passed away at the age of 54 on 16th July 1986.
Guru Gajendra Kumar Panda, born in Lokanathpur, Chatrapur (Orissa), is a foremost custodian of the Guru Debaprasad Parampara of Odissi. Panda came under the tutelage of Guru Debaprasad Das at the age of 11. He had already received hands-on training in “Sakhi Nata” of the southern district of Ganjam, Orissa from Guru Raghunatha Purohita and was an ‘Akhada Pilla’ under Guru Bhubaneswar Mishra, as well as opera & theatre with Guru Prabhakar Shreechandan. Immersed during his childhood in the culturally rich folk tradition of the Ganjam district, Gajendra was later fired by the passion for Debaprasad’s art. It was Gaji whom Deba Prasad relied upon to remember his dance compositions so that by the time of his death (1986), Gajendra has absorbed almost all of Debaprasad existing repertoire.
Tridhara is now in the care of Guru Gajendra Panda, who almost single-handedly runs the institution. Gajendra’s composition style is refreshingly unique for a variety of reasons, but foremost among them is his masterful use of the “Sabda Swara Pata” which he absorbed, painstakingly and meticulously, from his Guru Debaprasad Das. At the feet of his master, Gajendra also learnt to present his dancers and himself in stunning sculpturesque friezes, which quickly take his audience to the resplendent temple statues that Orissa is acclaimed for. In all that he composes, there is to be seen a free flow of the three streams of Odisha’s dance art - tribal, folk and traditional village Odissi – and its brilliant embellishment in stylish execution of rhythm, movement and beautiful static poses. Gajendra has been visualizing and choreographing new works ever since his guru’s demise. He has received many awards for his contribution in the field of Odissi Dance.
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