|Odissi Dancer Kasturi Pattanaik
Mrs. Kasturi Pattanaik is one of the original thinkers and innovative interpreters of Indian classical dances, particularly Odissi dance. Deeply associated with the Odissi Research Centre (ORC), Bhubaneswar, particularly in its choreography and students’ training for two decades, after passing out from the Odissi Research Centre as its first batch student, Mrs. Pattanaik, has the advantage of working with all the seniormost exponents of Odissi dance and Odissi music. After her outstanding stint at ORC, she joined Sankalp, New Delhi as its Programme Director (Culture).
Mrs. Pattanaik is credited with re-exploration, reconstruction and recreation of Odissi dance in its creative and classical wholeness. As the Programme Director (Culture), Sankalp & Creative Head, Sankalp’s Performing Arts Groups; she is instrumental in evolving, consolidating and diversifying Sankalp’s Odissi dance style; as a distinct style; with new concepts, objectives, themes, identities, values, meanings and practices in the existing five sequential repertory of Odissi dance through new creations to further enlarge and deepen the classical canvas and cultural rooting of Odissi dance to considerably enhance its artistic evolutionary essence in the contemporary settings.
Besides a profound performer, choreographer and director; she is an insightful Odissi music composer and established classical dance teacher.
Her contribution spread to the other segments of Indian art and culture; including folk, indigenous and traditional arts as well as cultural education and training.
She is a firm believer that the classical dances need the integral participation of the younger generation; who could be the real carriers, transmitters and disseminators of the classical traditions in its great breadth and depth. With this purpose, she has been organising workshops, orientation programmes and refresher courses by Sankalp on Indian classical dances, Indian classical music, theatre, visual arts, indigenous/ folk/tribal arts and literary arts; with the participation of the local exponents all over the country.
Mrs. Pattanaik has performed in all the important national dance and art festivals. She has also widely travelled and performed and imparted trainings in Odissi dance throughout the world; including in the international dance festivals of USSR, North Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.
She has served the Government of India (Ministry of Culture) committees on selection of young scholarships and fellowships and has been member of various thematic committees of the Government of India and State Governments. She has also been nominated as a jury of the Central Board of Film Certification.
She has been taking active interest in programme and policy initiatives and measures in culture, education and other social sector issues of national importance as part of Sankalp’s multi-pronged development activities.
She has also been regularly participating in the Parliamentary Committees on thematic issues of national importance as part of Sankalp’s delegation.
Mrs. Pattanaik has received many prestigious awards and honours for her contribution to Indian classical dance and public life.