Gangadhar Pradhan

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Guru Gangadhar Pradhan
Born (1948-07-10)10 July 1948
Parikula, Brahmagiri Orissa
Died 10 October 2010(2010-10-10) (aged 62)
Occupation Dancer, Mardal Player, Choreographer, Festival Organiser
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Sulochana Pradhan
Awards Sangeet Natak Akademi State & National, Padma Shri, Doctorate in Odissi Dance

Gangadhar Pradhan (1948–2010) was an eminent Odissi (Orissi) exponent and teacher, who also founded the Konark Natya Mandap in Konark Puri in 1986 and organised several dance festivals in the temple city during his lifetime.[1] Born on July 10, 1948 in a village called Parikula (off Brahmagiri) in eastern India's Orissa, he died in the state capital of Bhubaneswar on October 11, 2010, and had several leading dancer-disciples besides top national and international honours to his credit.

Early life and background[edit]

Gangadhar was born on July 10, 1948, to a humble farmer couple, Muralidhar Pradhan and Dwitika Devi, of Parikul village off Brahmagiri in Puri district. A bout of initial ill-health prompted Gangadhar's father to vow that if this child survive, he would send the boy to serve their worshiping deity Lord Balukeshwar at Dimirisena for five years. The child, at age five, was sent to serve the Lord Balukeshwar at Dimirisena. After that, for along 10 years, the boy remained in the temple and served Lord Shiva as a devotee. He was trained in the Gotipua form of art that laid a life of rigorous training and exercise under the direct supervision of the gurus. He was a quick learner and reproduced his lessons neatly to the entire satisfaction of his teachers: late gurus Banchanidhi Pradhan, Pandit Chandrasekhar Patnaik, Guru Mahadev Rout and Guru Birabar Sahoo.

Awards And Honours[edit]

He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998[2] and the Padma Shri (Indian's fourth highest civilian award) in 2008.[3]