Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra passes away

Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra passes away
Bhubaneswar, April 7 (PTI) Kelucharan Mohapatra, renowned exponent of Odissi dance form who firmly established the art on the world stage, passed away following a massive cardiac arrest here today.

The guru, who was instrumental in the dance form getting classical status, breathed his last as he was being rushed for medical attention. He was 78.

''Guruji was fine in the morning but suddenly complained of pain in the chest. We rushed him to a private nursing home but he was pronounced dead on arrival there'', Kelucharan's dancer son Ratikant Mohapatra said.

Guru Kelucharan had famous disciples including late Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kumkum Mohanty, Sonal Mansingh, Minati Mishra, Priyambada Mohanty-Hejmadi, late Pratima Bedi and Madhavi Mudgal.

He had set up his own institution Srjan a decade ago to teach the nuances of the art form to the younger generation.

Honoured with the Padmashree in 1975, he was also presented the Padma Bhushan in 1989 and Padma Vibhushan in 2000.

Guru Kelucharan was presented the Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1966.

He had participated in the festivals of India held in the UK, United States, the USSR, Japan and Germany.

Family sources said that the Guru had undergone a bypass surgery in 1989.

As soon as the news about his passing away spread, people from different walks of life including those from the world of culture rushed to his Bhimatangi residence for the darshan of Guruji.

Ratikant said that the body would be taken to his village Raghurajpur, known as the origin of the Odissi dance form and famous for its pattachitras, near Puri tomorrow. It would then be cremated at the Swargadwar burning ghat on the sea shore.

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