Prime Worshipper of Odissi : Purnashree Raut

Raipur : Purnashree Raut has been a prime worshipper of Odissi Dance since last forty years. Her commitment for the projection, propagation, promotion and popularisation of this temple dance form of Odisha in outside the state has been tremendous. Purnashree’s mission Odissi began at the age of Six, when she started learning this most graceful and lyrical classical dance style of the Country at Kala Vikash Kendra (KVK) in Cuttack. KVK used to be known as the pioneer and premier Institute of performing arts in the cultural capital of Odisha. Purnashree learnt the finest nuances and sublime intricacies of this divine dance from illustrious Gurus like Ramani Ranjan Jena, Raghu Dutta, Kelucharan Mohapatra and Shankar Behera. Presently based in Raipur Purnashree has been imparting training in Odissi dance through her Institution Shree Nritya Prajna Odissi Dance Academy since 2009. She had the unique forte of organising two major Festivals in Raipur entitled International Dance Festival and Pravas Prasang Festival. Purnashree has conceptualised and implemented a pedagogic programme in Odissi Dance, with an aim to train students at grassroots level covering 45000 Government primary schools of Chhattisgarh. She also teaches blind, deaf and dumb students in Raipur at schools run by Social Welfare Department.

A person of many perfected parts Purnashree Raut has been a proud possessor of kaleidoscopic personality of rarest variety. A Brilliant student Purnashree has been a Gold Medalist in psychology, holder of Master’s degree in English literature from London and a M.A. in performing arts ftom Sambalpur University. An ‘A’ Grade Artiste of Doordarshan, she has presented several dance choreographies and ballets in Odisha, Chhattisgrah and other Doordarshan Kendras. An outstanding exponent of Odissi, she has had the privilege of performing in almost all renowned Festivals in India and many reputed International Festivals in abroad . Smt Raut has also had the teaching experience in Odissi dance as the Assistant professor in Khairagarh University.

An ace administrator, she is presently serving as the Assistant Director in the culture Department of Chhattisgarh Government. A prominent community leader, Smt Raut has recently been appointed as President of Chhattisgarh Branch of World Odisha Society, the apex Association of Odia Diaspora across the Globe.

A prolific Art writer Smt Raut has written the highly acclaimed Book Nritya Shastra; Mythological Origins, which was released by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in 2021. Her first book written in hindi entitled Shree Odissi Prajna has been designed to educate Odissi at the elementary level. Her second Book entitled, Shree Odissi Prajna has been written in Braille for the benefit of Blind students. At present she is working on her fourth book namely Nritya Rahasya(The Sacred Mystics of Dance), highlighting the mystics associated with ancient classical dance forms of India.

A much decorated human being Purnashree Raut has had the honour of receiving several awards and recognitions for her spectacular contribution in enriching Odissi Dance and Music and spreading Odisha’s Culture. Those include Stree Shakti Samman, Nari Pratibha Samman, Chhattisgarh Prativa Samman, Shrestha Odiyani Award, Sringarmani, Kala Ratna, Kala Tapaswani, Utkal Gaurav, Nrityamani, Nrityabhushan Puraskars, Bishistha Prativa Samman, Silver Medal in Civil Services Officers’ Dance Competition, Jagannath Organisation of Global Welfare Sanskriti Award and Natya Tarang Award in Connecticut, U.S.A. She has also been felicitated by prominent cultural Institutions in India and abroad such as Hindu Temple and ISCKON Temple in U.S.A, Rawatpura Sarkar, Guru Pankaj Charan Foundation,Bhubaneswar and Kalinga Bharati Foundation, Gurugram.

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