Report by OD bureau; New Delhi: Renowned Odissi Guru Harekrishna Behera passed away on Sunday Morning at AIIMS in New Delhi at the age of 81. He was suffering from a major cardiac arrest.
81Yr Old Guruji Survived By Wife Pdmabati & 3 Daughters Kavita, Kaveri & Kalyani. Guru Behera Was Founder President Of Odissi Kendra, Delhi.
Guru Shri Hare Krishna Behera, a well-known Odissi exponent and its Guru, can justifiably lay claim to many honours. But foremost among these would be in being the pioneer of bringing Odissi out of the geographical confines of Odisha and unleashing its creative muse to a wider audience than hitherto enjoyed.
Guru Shri Hare Krishna Behera was born in the village of Buani in the district of Balasore, Orissa. From a very early age he was attracted to the finer nuances of the Odissi dance form, and to
Nurture that attraction; he successively initiated himself as disciple to Shri Ramhari Behera, Shri Shriram Chandra Dey and Shri Ramchandra Mahapatra. He learned the Gotipua and Mahari style of Odissi from thgese gurus apart from learning Champu, Chhanda Tabla, and contemporary dances like Bhajan and Chhota Khayal.
His attraction towards the dance from was evident in his adolescence when, at the age of six, he joined the 'akhada' parties in his village. Akhada party was a traditional narrative that used elaborate drama and song sequence to tell stories. Such was his forte in this form that he was invited to teach and direct akhada parties in neighbouring villages. Yet his quest for continued growth in education and art remained unfulfilled.
Towards fulfilling these ambitions in part, he came to Balasore in 1952, where he joined the Nritya Sangeet Kala Mandir as a dance teacher. In 1957, he joined the Kala Vikash Kendra to pursue his education. Here under the watchful tutelage of Guru Keli Charan Mahapatra, his mastery of the dance from flowered. During the same time, he joined "Jayantika", which was a conflation of Gurus, scholars and students of the art form under one roof committed to evolve Odissi with a classical character.
In 1960, Shri Babul Joshi, the then secretary of the Kala Vikash Kendra, saw the potential that was lying untapped inside Guru Behera and sponsored his entrance to the Natya Ballet centre at Delhi to learn ballet. Guru Shri Behera combined this opportunity to teach Odissi to aspiring students of the Natya Ballet Centre and thus started the pioneering work of propagating Odissi outside Orissa in to the wider canvas of the country's cultural milieu.
In 1964 he received a scholarship from the Sangeet Natak Academy (Orissa) and also from cultural Deptt, Govt. of India to learn kathak from pandit Shri Birju Maharaj. Simultaneously he learn Pakhawaj from Late Shri Purushottam Das and Thumri from Late Smt Sidheswari Devi.
In the same year, Guru Shri Behera started the ' Nritya Niketan'. It was, perhaps, the first of its kind in Delhi. However, Guru Shri Behera could not devote much time to it for multiple reasons. This did not deter him form continuing with his task of propagating Odissi and he called on his disciples, friends and even his guru Shri Kelu Charan Moahapatra to assist him in this endeavour. In 1971, he joined the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya as an "Odissi Guru". In 1974, he again served as an Odissi Guru at Sri Rama Bharatiya kala Kendra.
Long years of Teaching Odissi at various establishments had made Guru Shri Behera eager to start an institution that would be devoted to teaching Odissi. With this noble thought in mind, Guru Shri Behera started his own institution in 1976, which five years latter, got formally registered as "Odissi Kendra" under the "Registration of Societies Act".
Guruji has traveled widely to places, like the former USSR, USA, UK, South America, Mongolia, Poland, Austria, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Thailand, Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, Japan, Maldives, Italy and France.
Guru Behera has trained many celebrity dancers some of whom are internationally recognized exponents of Odissi. To name a few, Sonal Mansingh, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Aloka Pannikar, Surendra Nath Jena, Radha Reddy, Madhavi Mudgal and Kavita Dwibedi. Guruji has also trained a number of Foreigners – Frederic Blance (America), Anne Marrie Gosten (Canada), Takomi Somappa (Japan), Lindy Tauber (Australia), Chantal Thomas (Paris), Chime yanagida(Japan), Lauraj J Lukitsch (America); etc.
Some of the disciples have attained wide reputation and include kanta khosla, Shakuntla Nayar, Chandra jayanagarkar, Rani Kama Nayak, Vishnupriya Pawar, Kumkum Lal, Nalani Malhotra, Nilima Banarjee, Kakal Preset, Beena Jhalla, Shikha Bose, Yojana Koshal, Abha Nalini Kumar, Shenaz Mehta, Madhulekha Nayak, Smruti Mehta, R. Parvati, Laxmi Prasad, Alpana Nayak, Sudha Grover, Vandana Palliwal, Sarbani Sen, Shusmita Banerjee, Sagoree Chakravarty, Shreyashi Dey, Anita Prasad Shunita Shankar, Anuradha Paul, Somali Bose, Sanjari Gupta, Yamini Gupta, Pratap Behera, Parul Rewal, Chandiram Sarkar, Purnima Barik, Urmila Sahoo, Nilanjana Mukherjee, Priyanka Ganguly, Ayone Dutta, Deepshikha Dutta, Kaveri Behera, Arti Kapoor, Madhurima Goswami, Indu Oberoi, Chitra Jagadishan, N. Yamini, Ipsita Das, Sapna Chaman, Radhika Rajpal, Shilpa Shankar, Uma Panigrahi, Anette Claesson (Sweden), Anita (Anna), Bagotskaia (Russia), Suman Chowdary, Palesh Saha, Baisakhi Mazumdar (Bangladesh).
Anette Claesson form Sweden, and Anita (Anna) Bagotskaia from Russia students of Guruji are getting ICCR scholarship to learn Odissi Dance.
Since 1986, Guruji has been going to London every year to teach Odissi dance organized by Smt. Vishnupriya Pawar.
Guruji has composed many new items in Pallavi, Abhinaya, Tandav, Mangalacharan etc. He has also choreographed several dance dramas combining classical Odissi with folk forms. Even today he experiments with new compositions.
Honours & Awards
Guru Shri behera has been earned laurels from quarters. There has been widespread recognition of his mastery over this classical dance form of odissi.
1981-The All India Critics Association Award, Calcutta
1983-The Orissa Sangeet Natak Academy Award
1990-The Sahitya Kala Parishad Award from Delhi Administration
1991-The Vandana Arts' (Nritamani Award 1991)
1999-The International Development Award,from NISCD, Delhi
2002-Kalabhushan FromLalit Kala Sansthan,Dr.B.R.Ambedkar University,Agra
2003-Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam for hisContribution to odissiDance as is the first to introduce odissi Dance in the Capital of India.
Composition of Guruji
Sindura Arunam (1983) , Ganesh Tandava (1985), Nagendra Haraya (1987), Divya Kundala (1987), Ganga Tarangam (1989), Dwadash Ganesh Stuti (1988),Sabdaswar Patna (1988),Udyotbhanu Devi Vandana (1989), Tasmai Namaha (1990),
Hansadhwani Pallavi (1974), Kirwani Pallavi (1975), Aravi Pallavi (1980), Saveri Pallavi (New,1990),Kalawati Pallavi (1984), Bajrakanti Pallavi (1987),Mukhari Pallavi (1990), Kedar Pallavi (1987), Khamaj Pallavi(1989), Tilang Pallavi(1990),Mishrs Shankarabharan (1989),Vilahari Pallavi(1995),Bageshwari Pallavi(1994),Saabhinaya Pallavi(1984),Jaati Bheda Pallavi (1985),New Bajrakanti Pallavi(1993),
Shreeta Kamala (1987), Vihrati Vane Radha (1988), Mamiya Chalita Vilokayam (1989),Nabdati Chandan (1989), Radhika Tava Virhae (1988), , tava Virha Vanamali (1989), Yamihe (1989), Smara Sanarochito Vesha (1994), Samudit Madance (1990), Ma Kuu Manini (1990), Virchita Chatu Vanchana (1992), Radha Badan Vilokaya (1992), Kisallaya Shayana Tale (1992),Daurbhyam (1993).
Sri Ram Chandra (1991),Mere to Giridhar Gopal (1992),Bhaja Man Sankari (1994), Kamal Lochan (1990),Abhaya Daan Dije (1995), Heri Me to Pem Diwani (1993),Bhaja Mana Rama harana Sukhadayi (1994)