D. N. Pattnaik

Born in 1933 in Bonai, Orissa, Shri Dhirendra Nath Pattnaik is among the individuals who pioneered the development of Odissi dance. One of the earliest recipients of the National Scho- larships for dance awarded by the Government of India, he was trained by various gurus includ- ing Shri Bir Hanuman Shastri and Shri Padmanavadas. Since the ’50s, Shri Pattnaik has been closely associated with research in, and revival of, Odissi as a classical dance form. During the early ’60s, in his various capacities as Vice- President of the All Orissa Dancers’ and Dance Teachers’ Association (Jayontika), as head of the research department of Kala Vikash Kendra, Cuttack, and as Founder-Principal of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Bhubaneswar, Shri Pattnaik made a vital contribution to the development of Odissi dance. During this period, he also composed scripts and lyrics, besides choreographing several dance-dramas. Shri Pattnaik has written widely in Oriya and English. His book Odissi Nrutya was the first major work of its kind. Besides, he has also written on Chhau dance, Prahlad Natak, and several other performing arts of Orissa. Shri Pattnaik served as Secretary of Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi from 1980 to 1991 and has recently founded the Mayur Art Centre, Bhuba-neswar. Shri Dhirendra Nath Pattnaik receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contri- bution to Odissi dance.