The Department of Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, is organising Nrityotsav 2008, a festival of classical dances of India, from 29th February to 2nd March. The three day festival will feature some of the best dancers of the country, such as Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Shobha Naidu, Bharatanatyam dancer Padma Subrahmaniam, and Odissi dancer Ranjana Gauhar performing.
Today the last day, renowned Odissi dancer from Delhi Ranjana Gauhar will be performing. Recipient of the coveted Padmasri Award from the President Of India in 2003, Ranjana Gauhar is a leading exponent of the Indian classical dance Odissi. Her thirst for innovation took her to different forms and media of art. As a child, she dabbled in painting, dance and theater. But it was Odissi that finally captured her heart and soul, and she trained under the legendary guru Mayadhar Raut.
She sharpened her sensitivities by taking up philosophy for graduation and English literature for M A, and enriched her experience as a dancer by also learning Kathak and Manipuri.
Apart from performing extensively all over India, Ranjana has taken Odissi to various parts of the world, performing at various dance festivals in USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Croatia, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, Belgium, Tunisia, Cyprus, Kuwait, Yugoslavia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Vietnam, and some South American countries - Panama, Ecuador and Mexico.
She founded the Utsav Educational And Cultural Society in 1987, dedicated to imparting quality training and providing professional degrees to students of Odissi. She has also produced and directed a number of professional ballets depicting contemporary and mythological themes.
Ranjana is also an independent film producer, researcher and scriptwriter, and has successfully produced many television serials, films, and documentaries. Her most recent contribution to the propagation of Odissi is her book titled "Odissi – The Dance Divine", released in February 2007.
The entry is free for everyone. Please contact the Department of Culture at 2323-3672/2323-1245 for further details.