Kelucharan Mohapatra

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 1966 Dance - Odissi I present to you, Sir, Shri Kelu Charan Mohapatra, who receives this year's Akademi Award for Orissi dance. Born in a family of 'chitrakars' in Puri he early imbibed the spirit of art, and applied himself to mastering the Orissi dance with single-minded devotion and sincerity. Thus he deviated from the family tradition of painting even though the members had the high honour of being the interior decorators of the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Shri Kelu Charan however rose to equal eminence in his own line and it is considerably through his efforts as a guru that a line of young Orissi dancers have been trained and the Orissi style of dance has regained an honoured place among the dances in India. He is a creative artist and has enriched the Orissi repertory. A choreographer of high order, Shri Kelu Charan has composed ballets and dancedramas. His talent embraces the playing of the drum, and he provides the accompaniment to performances of his pupils. In recognition of his art and of his services in the cause of the Orissi form of dance the Sangeet Natak Akademi has given Award to Shri Kelu Charan Mohapatra.