Aloka Kanungo [Odissi Exponent]
One of the leading classical dancers of India, Aloka Kanungo is a rare combination of dancer, choreographer, teacher & scholar. A worthy heir to the art of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, she is a name with in the Odissi genre. Endowed with a well-proportioned body, fluent face, expressive eyes and natural beauty in body movement, she has disciplined her body into supple and flexible grace and her mind into a subtle aesthetic emotion so that she translates with effortless grace the quintessence of Odissi dance into sculpturesque beauty and soulful expression.
She combines single-handed devotion and indefatigable industry with a keen and questioning mind. Her style has an elegance & dignity, which captures the audience. Her innovative creative ideas find expression through the language of dance in her much-appreciated productions, where she experiments with Bandha and Stapatya satya.
A child prodigy
Aloka Kanungo proved herself as a child prodigy at a tender age both as a born dancer and a versatile artist at the All India Radio, Cuttack. She was the youngest actress at the All India Radio, Cuttack and played the pivotal roles in plays like "Matira Phoola", "Bissa Piyusa" and "Dukhi".
She stole millions hearts and was a popular household name in Orissa. She was felicitated, when she was only six and half years old by Kalindi Charana Panigrahi, the renowned poet, (father of Mrs. Nandini Satpathi, ex-chief minister of Orissa) for her memorable performance at Janata Ranga Mancha, Cuttack. She acted in Oriya film 'Matira Manisa' directed by Mr. Mrinal Sen.
A danseuse par excellence
Though Aloka was beginning to become to become quite a house-hold name as a budding actress, she preferred to be a dancer and soon became a name to reckon with in the dance field. Initially trained by Guru Raghunatha Dutta and Guru Mayadhar Rout, she blossomed into a fine dancer under the tutelage and watchful eyes of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra. She received "Nritya Shree","Nritya Visharad" and "Nritya Praveen" from Kala Vikash Kendra, Cuttack. She has received many prestigious awards, including the Shiromoni Puroshkar and the Mahari Award.
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- Citation from Viswa Bharati, Shantiniketan
- Udayshankar Award from Pratisruti Parishad
- Sringarmoni from Sursingar Samsad, Mumbai
- Siromoni Award from Asian Paints
- Outstanding Young Person Award from Indian Junior Chambers
- Talented Ladies Award from Bharat Nirman
- Mahari Award : Guru Pankaj Charan Das Odissi Research Foundation
- Graded Outstanding dancer by I.C.C.R
- Placed in Top Grade by Doordarshan Central Audition Committee
- Received National Scholarship from Dept. of Culture, Govt.of India
- Received Junior Fellowship from Dept. of Culture, Govt.of India
- Senior Fellowship from Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi
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