Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 19:
Legendary Odissi exponent and former principal of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, the premier institute for drama, dance and performing arts in Odisha, Ms Dr Bidyut Kumari Choudhury passed away in the city late on Wednesday night. She was 67.
Dr Bidyut Kumari Choudhury died of cardiac arrest at her Tankapani Road residence at around 9.30 pm last night.
An alumnus of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Choudhury was a student of Odissi dance in the first batch (1964) of the college. After completing her degree, she joined the college as a lecturer and later became the head of the department of Odissi dance.
In 1998, she was promoted as the principal of the premier institute here and served there for eight long years before attaining superannuation in 2007. She was the longest-serving principal of the college.
She was disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Padmashri Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Deva Prasad Das and Dr Minati Mishra.
An artist of international repute, she has performed in many programmes across the state and country. She has also accompanied late Sanjukta Panigrahi on many of her dance programmes.
Her husband, tabla guru Chandrasekhar Mohapatra had predeceased her by almost a decade ago. Mohapatra worked as lecturer at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya and was an accompanist of classical dancer Sonal Mansingh.
She is survived by her only son Subhendu Mohapatra who works in the IT industry in Singapore.
The last rites will be performed this evening after her son arrives from Singapore, family sources said.
She has penned books on Odissi dance in English as well as Odia.
A pall of gloom descended as the news of the death of the danseuse spread. Relatives, former colleagues, friends, students and neighbours visited her residence to pay their last respects.
Her body was also brought to the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in the evening where scores of people from the fraternity assembled to pay floral tributes to the departed soul. Earlier in the day, a condolence meeting was also conducted in the college where she studied as well as served.
“She was a woman of principles and a very strict administrator. She was a very lovable person and will remain in our hearts forever,” former colleague Guru Pradeep Kumar Das said.