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Jhelum Paranjape [Odissi Exponent]

Dance has been a way of life with me since childhood. For a number of years I performed in the dance ballets staged by the Rashtra Seva Dal Kalapathak under the direction of noted poet Vasant Bapat and tutelage of Shri Ramesh Purav. The troupe has presented several memorable shows. Maharashtra Darshan, Bharat Darshan, Shiv Darshan and Azadi Ki Jung can be cited as particularly noteworthy productions.

Since 1977, I have dedicated myself to the pursuit of Odissi dance. Starting my training with Guru Shankar Behera, I have, since the last 26 years been training with the doyen of Odissi dance, Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. I have been actively performing since 1983.

When I began my training in Odissi with Shankar Behera, Smita Patil was my active partner. Though she shifted to film very soon, her mind was always into dance. She was my friend & mentor. It was through her that I was introduced to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. She died in 1986, I was already teaching in a small way by then. Her memory was very much inherent in me - I wanted to give it a concrete form. That is how Smitalay was formed.

Major Performances

  • Pradakshina - New Delhi, festival celebrating the 75th birthday of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
  • Khajuraho Dance Festival
  • Music Academy, Chennai
  • NCPA, Mumbai
  • Konark Festival, Bhubaneshwar
  • Dasshera Festival, Mysore
  • Festival of South Central Zone Cultural Center at various places in India
  • Chaitanyamay Bharat Festival, Nehru Center, Mumbai
  • Kaveer Festival, MTDC, Kolhapur
  • Sankat-Mochan Festival, Varanasi
  • Mhalsa Festival, Goa Kala Academy, Goa
  • Samantar Festival, Nehru Center, Mumbai
  • Winter Festival, Udaipur
  • Barse Badariya Festival, SCZCC, Vijaywada
  • Raj Bhavan, Mumbai
  • Italian Consulate, New Delhi
  • Nritya Parva, Bhubaneshwar - All India Odissi Festival organised by Central Sangeet Natak Academy
  • Elephanta Festival, MTDC, Mumbai
  • Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai
  • Ellora Festiva, MTDC, Mumbai
  • I have also done numerous solo dance recitals, in conferences hosted by Hindustan Lever, BARC, TIFR etc. Group Odissi performances and lecture demonstrations for various dance circles and institutions like "Spicmacay", all over India and abroad. I have participated in the various dance ballet productions of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, notable being the role of Krishna in Jayadeva's Geet Govind. I am an 'A' grade artist of Doordarshan and also empanelled by the ICCR.

    My current professional interests go beyond the solo dance. I have keen interest in recreating the traditional Odissi repertoire in a group format. I am also involved in a number of projects of choreography for various performing art forms.
    I take choreography assignments for plays, ballets, advertising films, feature films, television serials, puppet shows, theme-based choreographies for corporate houses, companies, award functions etc.


    • Kumar Gandharva Award - for innovative choreography in Odissi & also for propagating and popularising the Odissi form throughout Maharashtra.
    • Rotary Award - for vocational excellence.
    • Mahari Award 2005 - Instituted by Guru Pankaj Charan Odissi Research Foundation, Bhubaneshwar, this prestigious award is dedicated to the memory of Maharis, the spiritual dancers of Lord Jagannath Temple from where the Odissi Dance had its origin. This award is given to a professional solo Odissi dancer of national or international repute for outstanding contribution in the field of Odissi dance. For the last 10 years this award was given only to Odiya dancers. Guru Smt. Jhelum Paranjape is the first non Oriya dancer to have received this very prestigious award.
    • Sanjukta Panigrahi National Award - For continuous effort towards the spread of Odissi. Received on 24th Aug 2005, Bhubaneswar


    'Kapilvastu', 217
    S.V. Road,
    Bandra (West),
    Mumbai 400 050.