Padma Vibushan Kelucharan Mohapatra, the doyen of Odissi dance, has passed away. I realize that this is a Tabla forum, but Guru Kelucharan ji was also an extremely accomplished Mardal (Odissi pakhavaj) player, a percussionist of remarkable dexterity and a generous teacher. He will be missed.
The following is from orissindia.com:
The world of Odissi is shrouded in darkness. Padma Vibhushan Kelu Charan Mohapatra is no more. He was 79 and died of a massive heart attack this morning.
Guruji complained of his discomfort and breathlessness at 9.30 am today and while on the way to the nursing home he breathed his last. He was declared dead at the Care Nursing Home in the city of Bhubaneswar after initial treatment for cardiac revival.
The gotipua dancer who turned out to be the Odissi Maestro and was known the world over as GURUJI could not have done more justice to Orissa and the country. He is the first Oriya to have been conferred with Padma Vibhusan by the President of India.
Born in a humble family of Pattachitrakars of Raghurajpur village in Puri District in 1926 Guruji was a genius. He was initiated to the stage by Guru Mohan Sundar Deva Gowswami and later on by Guru Pankaj Charan Das. Kelu Charan Mohapatra was the Le Corbusier of contemporary Odissi.
The last rites will be performed at Swarga Dwar in Puri tomorrow while his body is lying in state for visitors, students and teachers to pay homage at his residence in Bhubaneswar.