Orissi Gurus

Click on photo of Odissi flautist sculpture to see more Orissi sculptures. Photo  1998, David J. CapersThe dance remained an oral tradition through the beginning of the twentieth century in possession of semi-literates who were not aware of the existing Sanskrit texts on dance. In the late 30's and early 40's, four young men, Pankaj Charan Das, Kelu Charan Mohapatra, Deba Prasad Das, and Mayadhar Raut, were drawn to theatre, launching Orissi into its reconstructive phase--the beginning of the modern era, taken to its climax by Sanjukta Panigrahi, the queen of Orissi dance.