Born on 18May 1953 in Nahantara village in Puri district of Odisha, Shri Dha neswar Swain received his training in Mardala-drumming under the masters Singhari Shyamsundar Kar and Banamali Maharana at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Bhubaneswar. In 1979, he joined the Mahavidyalaya as a teacher of percussion and worked there for over thirty years.
Shri Swain has won renown as a Mardala player in Odissi dance, accompanying leading dancers in their recitals since the 1980s. He has at the same time striven to carve out for the Mardala its own space in Odissi music, giving solo recitals at various venues . The Raja Rani Music Festival in Bhubaneswar, the Sankat Mochan festival in Varanasi, and Sangeet Sandhya at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, are some events where he has played solo. He has travelled extensively with Odissi dancers as an accompanist, performing all over India and in the United States, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Finland, China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Jordan, and Israel.
Shri Dhaneswar Swain has received recognition also as a composer of dance music, and has created music for a number of choreographic works such as Panchadeva Stuti, Dashamahavidya, Yuge Yuge Jagannath, and Sirshti o Pralaya.
He has produced a CD of his compositions on the Mardala titled Vadya Vani, which has received appreciation from connoisseurs of tala. He has published some articles on the Mardala, and conducted workshops on dance music at several institutions.
Shri Dhaneswar Swain has been honoured for his work with the title Badyashree conferred by the Utkal Sahitya Kala Parishad in 1999. In 2008, he received the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Shri Dhaneswar Swain receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution as a Mardala drummer in the field of dance music.