Late Guru Debaprasad Das

A tribute to Guru Debaprasad Das. He remains an iconic figure in the world of Odissi.

Late Guru Deba Prasad Das, was an Indian classical dancer, considered by many as one of the four first generation gurus of the Indian classical dance form of Odissi. He was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

He was the youngest of the Trinity of Odissi gurus, the others being Guru Pankaj Charan Das and Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. Together they helped in reviving Odissi, which was on the verge of extinction when India became independent.

Deba Prasad Das was the first guru to present Odissi outside of Orissa, when in 1958 he accompanied two young dancers, Priyambada Mohanty and Dhirendranath Pattnaik, at a youth festival in Delhi. Not long after, he toured the world with Indrani Rahman, leading her musicians with his pakhawaj and spoken ukkuta, while she danced before Queen Elizabeth II, several other heads of state, and great artists like Martha Graham. Together they created a sensation, and Odissi remains today one of the most popular of Indian dance forms – both in India and abroad.

Das, a representative of Gotipua Odissi culture and considered by many as one of the four first generation gurus of Odissi, is known to be founder of the Deba Prasad Gharana. He had many disciples such as Indrani Rahman, Durga Charan Ranbir and Ramli Ibrahim, Srinath Raut and Gajendra Panda who have emerged as noted exponents of Odissi.

Odissi leap-frogged to the global stage after years of obscurity as a local dance form in Odisha. Although he died at the young age of 54, Guru Debaprasad Das has left behind a galaxy of gifted disciples who have carried forward his legacy. Among them are the brothers, Guru Gajendra and Binayak Panda.

Debadhara - Delhi, dedicated to the memory of the great gurus is well established in Delhi under the able leadership of Guru Binayak Panda.

The legacy of Guru Debaprasad Das lives on.

Debadhara - Delhi

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