A leading exponent of Odissi, Sujata Mohapatra completed more than eighteen years of training under the guidance of her guru, the late Padma Vibhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra, legendary exponent of Odissi, and simultaneously with her husband guru Ratikant Mohapatra. She also underwent a valuable stint at the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre.
Gifted with a resilient body, amazing stamina, and large luminous eyes, Sujata has a compelling stage presence. A rare combination of intensity and spontaneity, her dance is noted in particular for its strict adherence to her guru’s style, known for its grace, depth of expression, and technical exactitude.
Sujata has performed extensively, both in solo recitals and as a member of her guru’s institution Srijan (Odissi Nrityabhasa), in all the major cities of India – and internationally. She has received accolades and awards from leading cultural institutions in India, including the latest Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar award. Sujata is currently Principal of Srjan and actively involved in teaching Odissi both there and in her very popular workshops around the world.
Sujata will perform a traditional solo Odissi recital of works by her guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, accompanied by live music that traditionally includes vocals, percussion, flute and violin.
Odissi is one of the pre-eminent classical dance forms of India and originated in the Hindu temples of the eastern coastal state of Odisha. While its theoretical base can be traced back to the 2ndC Sanskrit text on drama, Natya Shastra, it also has a rich textual tradition of its own, as well as its unique hand gestures, rhythms (talas), and melodic modes (ragas). The songs interpreted in its dances are from an extensive Oriya literary tradition; its typical triple-bend postures – tribhangi – reflect stances in Odisha’s world-renowned temple sculpture.