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Ratikant Mohapatra [Odissi Exponent]

Ratikant Mohapatra has carved a space for himself as a dancer, percussionist, teacher, Choregrapher and archivist of Odissi. As one would look back perhaps it was the desire of the almighty about four and a half decades ago to offer the cradle of a dancer to him. Born into the illustrious family of Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra & Laxmipriya Mohapatra was indeed an advantage for Ratikant. Imbibing the artistic & creative talents of both Guruji & Guruma as the parents of Ratikant were addressed, he improvised on his own natural talents and inclination towards dance and music at an early age. Tutored by the Maestro in the art of Odissi & mardala (Odissi Pakhawaj) Ratikant did not spare any efforts to emerge as a leading male dancer by the time he was in his early twenties.

Quoted as "The young Kelu Charan" by Times of India a decade ago Ratikant had to stand the test of time. Barely in his thirties he rose to the occasion and was making the rounds on the global platform of Odissi and its worldwide footprint to establish himself as an acclaimed achiever. His renditions at world festivals and participation in collaborated workshops gave him the thrust to live up to the image of a true performer. Having mastered the mardala (Odissi Pakhawaj) and its nuances he was steadily stepping into the shoes of his father as a class percussionist. The brand of the Kelu Charan gharana was evident in the hypnotic strokes, which was eternal in the minds of the connoisseurs. He emerged as a teacher of the second generation to join the league well ahead of his physical age.

Not satiated by these achievements he forged ahead single mindedly to blend his art with technology and started archiving the works of his father and other frontline dancers of Odissi to enhance the knowledge of scholars and researchers. His archive envies the most established institutions of the country and the world at large with rare collections of articles, audio and video recordings of other Gurus and dancers of Odissi .He strived as the Director of Srjan Nrityabasa (Odissi Gurukul), which has been established as a premium Odissi dance institute for pursuing a career. He organizes regular workshops and summer camps for seniors as well as beginners to continue the tradition inherited from his father. The organizing of the Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Award every year at Bhubaneswar (Orissa) has brought celebrities and performers of Indian classical music and dance under one umbrella. Its meticulous planning and execution is possible due to Ratikant's commitment to proliferate art and culture.

Not satiated by these achievements he forged ahead single mindedly to blend his art with technology and started archiving the works of his father and other frontline dancers of Odissi to enhance the knowledge of scholars and researchers. His archive envies the most established institutions of the country and the world at large with rare collections of articles, audio and video recordings of other Gurus and dancers of Odissi .He strived as the Director of Srjan Nrityabasa (Odissi Gurukul), which has been established as a premium Odissi dance institute for pursuing a career. He organizes regular workshops and summer camps for seniors as well as beginners to continue the tradition inherited from his father. The organizing of the Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Award every year at Bhubaneswar (Orissa) has brought celebrities and performers of Indian classical music and dance under one umbrella. Its meticulous planning and execution is possible due to Ratikant's commitment to proliferate art and culture.

In order to carry the legacy of Kelu Charan Mohapatra, he is engaged in researching and implementing the various aspects of Odissi in a structured format so that the dance form could reach thousands of enthusiasts across the world. He has travelled widely and exposed himself to multicultural and cross border forms of dance and music in order to bridge the gap between Odissi and the rest of the world.

Major Performances

  • France- Festival of India and International Mime Festival
  • Germany- Festival of India and Autumn Festival
  • Japan - Festival of India
  • Russia- Festival of India
  • United Kingdom- Festival of India, Sanskritik Festival
  • Canada- Society of Fine Arts & Dance Academy of Ms Meneka Thakkar
  • Hong Kong- Vrundavan Dance & Music Academy of Pdt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia
  • Dubai- Sponsored Programmes
  • USA- 70th International Birth Anniversary Celebration of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra in 1996, India Festival, Sponsored programs
  • Australia- ICCR Cultural Delegate & Sponsored programmes

Research

Documentation through video & audio recording of eminent Guru/Dancers/Scholar's experience and achievements in Odissi dance & Music, other classical art forms and research on evolution of pakhawaj-playing originating with the traditional folk forms to the classical Odissi dance.

Awards

  • Invited by the ministry of Human Resource Development, Dept.of Culture, Govt.of India as an expert committee member to select the candidates under the scheme of Scholarship to young artists in different cultural forms.
  • Received junior fellowship on Mardala from Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt.of India.
  • Received a state level "Nrutyasri Award" from Mohansunder Devgoswami Smruti Sansad, Puri.
  • Invited by the national Song & Drama Division, Govt. of India as the Expert Member of the screening committee for selecting the artistes.
  • Awarded for the best presentation of Odissi dance for Cultural & Philanthropic Society, Calcutta High Court.
  • Barabati Nrutyotsav (national Festival of Dance & Music), Cuttack, awarded "Honour of Adore" for the best performance in Dashanana ballet in 2003.
  • Honoured by Indian Performing Arts Promotion Inc., Washington Dc, USA for the valued contributuin in Odissi dance in 2003.
  • Honoured with the National Award "Pride of India" by Chinta-O-Chetna, Bhubaneswar 2004
  • Honoured with "Sanjukta Panigrahi Samman" by Sanjukta Panigrahi Memorial Trust, Bhubaneswar, 2005
  • Honoured with "Nrutya Bhushan" by International Dance & Theatre Festival 2005 at Cuttack