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Dancing into eternity: Life and work of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
- Lalitha Venkat

October 28, 2018

Reams have been written about the legendary Odissi Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, who was one of the key figures in the Jayantika Movement of the 1950s, that was instrumental in getting classical dance status for Odissi, as a major classical dance style of India. His son Ratikant Mohapatra, Director, Srjan, who is diligently carrying forward his father's legacy, pays his tribute in his own special way. The pictorial tribute DANCING INTO ETERNITY - AN ENDEARING VIEW OF HIS MULTIFACETED LIFE AND WORK: GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA published by Ratikant Mohapatra, was formally released on September 9, 2018 at Bhubaneswar on the final day of the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival.

The 184 page coffee table book with an elegant cover design showing Kelubabu in four stages of his life, "is dedicated to the numerous disciples of Guruji, and their many disciples across India and the globe, who are tirelessly carrying forward the rich legacy that Guruji left behind." The book is divided into convenient segments like Guruji at leisure, Guruji teaches, Guruji with luminaries, Guruji with prominent disciples, Guruji's multifarious activities, In many moods, With associates from the world of arts, In performance with…, With artists from related fields, With members of his family, Recognition and Awards, featuring the appropriate photographs. Just 7" x 10", the compact sized book is a pictorial story of the life and times of Kelubabu. Each segment is interspersed with brief articles by his disciples and well wishers, in memory of his wondrous qualities through sharing anecdotes, their personal experiences with him.

'Guruji with colleagues, disciples and political luminaries' features rare photographs of him with prominent personalities like Mrs.Indira Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao, with a couple of articles by Menaka Thakkar and Vyjayanthimala Bali. 'With associates from the world of arts' has photos of him with Pt Raghunath Panigrahi, sipping coconut water with Pt Bhubaneswar Mishra, with Guru Pankaj Charan Das, with Guru Banamali Maharana, with vocalist Ghanshyam Panda and so on. 'In performance with…' has beautiful pics of Kelubabu with Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kalanidhi Narayanan, Pt Birju Maharaj, Girija Devi, Vedantam Satyanarayana Sharma, Kumkum Mohanty and Laxmipriya Mohapatra. Kelubabu repairing a mardala, doing cementing work, behind the video camera, churning buttermilk, gardening, painting, playing card games, playing piano are some candid shots that not many would have seen. The brief anecdotes shared by Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi, Rohini Dandavate, Sharon Lowen, Jhelum Paranjape, Ranjana Gauhar, Ileana Citaristi, Daksha Mashruwala, Minati Mishra, Madhavi Mugal to name a few, make for interesting reading. There are also tributes by PV Krishnamoorthy and Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia.

With concept and compilation by Ratikant Mohapatra, the book is meticulously edited by Aditya Mahapatra with assistance by Maya Krishnamurty, a dancer at Srjan. Designed by Debiprasad Mishra with graphics by Dibakar Panigrahi, the elegantly brought out book is sure to appeal to a wide spectrum of artistes and readers.

Published by Ratikant Mohapatra, Srjan, Bhubaneswar
Price: Rs.850 / 20$
ISBN: 978-81-938676-0-0

Lalitha Venkat is the content editor of

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