Ranjana Gauhar is a well-known name in the world of Indian classical dance. She is a leading exponent of the dance form 'Odissi'. She has perfected and honed her skills in Odissi to create her own distinctive style and signature in her chosen art form. She views life as an extension of her dance.
Ranjana has experimented with chhau dance and successfully blended it with her own inimitable style of Odissi. She has also trained in 'Kathak' and 'Manipuri.
Ranjana's tryst with Odissi began very clearly in life and her commitment is born of deep devotion. She has trained under the legendary Gurus Mayadhar Rout, Aloka Paniker and late Guru Shrinath Raut. She sharpened her sensitivity by taking philosophy for graduation and and English literature in MA.
She appeals to her audience at various planes. While confining herself to the dictates of the tradition, she manages to reach out to the contemporary. Ranjana weaves an imagery which is both innovate and individualistic. Her performance is characterized by gaiety, grace and strength.
She is widely acclaimed at home and abroad. Jane King, London says "enchanted audiences have raved that watching her is an experience in sublime spiritual odyssey." Her consummate virtuosity is aptly summed up by Ashish Khokar, the dance critic - "A pioneer in her field and determined to ensure the continuity of her lyrical and rhythmic art, Ranjana is successfully forging a new dance ocabulary from an enlightened and fruitful combination of Odissi and Mayurbhanj chhau.
Ranjana has taken Odissi to various parts of the world. She has danced extensively in Europe and America. She has performed at the festival of India in UK, Queen Elizabeth Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Hall of Plymouth, the Commonwealth Institute, Oxford University. She has also performed in Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Kuwait, Switzerland, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, Japan, the U.S.A and Pakistan. Worldwide apearances on television add to her accomplishments.
Ranjana has produced and directed a number of professional ballets depicting contemporary and mythological themes - Naldamayanti from Mahabharat, Vasundara on the environment , Udayaasth- depicting the story of cosmos inspired by Indian mythology, Geet Govind - based on the famous poem Geet Govind depicting the love story of Radha and Krishna
Her interests include theatre, painting and filmmaking. She is also actively involved in projects for disabled children. by attempting to improve their motor abilities through dance movements. Has been encouraging integration of disabled children, by specially choreographing ballets - Holi Ki Kahani, Bacchon Ki Zubani, Shravan Kumar Eklavya and Alibaba Chalis Chor. To this end, Ranjana choreographs special dance dramas for them
Amidst such a busy and packed schedule, she has found time to be visiting faculty member at the Hyderabad University, teaching classical dance at the master level and also at the summer Akademy, Berlin. She has been awarded the Senior Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, to research in the Temple tradition of Odissi Dance and has been honoured with the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award.
She is also an independent film producer, researcher and scriptwriter and has successfully produced many television serials and films, and documentaries. Some of them are Odissi Chandrika, Nupur, Prerana, Odissi Nritya…
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