padmashree-bhagaban-sahu

Padmashree Bhagaban Sahu, an outstanding dance teacher, actor, singer, percussionist,director, excperimenter and choreographer made his final exit on August 12, 2002 . Throughout his life, whenever he gave a performance, he danced his way into the hearts of the audience irrespective of their nationality and language and become a celebrity. There by he carved out a place for himself in the cultural history of Orissa.

Bhagaban Sahu is no more and yet his very much present. This statement may sound paradoxical. But it is true. Though his mortal remains have been cosumed by fire, his lofty ideal of keeping alive and enriching the folk dances of Orissa, especially Ganjam district, continued to be a source of inspiration. The dance forms he perfected with so much dedication, love and care continue to find expression through the rhythmic movement of bodies and perfect footwork of his ardent disciples.

Bhagaban Sahu’s tremendous success can be attributes to two factors. The first decision to select the road not taken by other. Instade of being satisfied with just giving performance of acting, he undertake the Herculean task of founding Kala Vikash Kendra at Narendrapur in1954 and running it efficiently. He took this grate decision as he had been anguished by the decline of folk dances. These dances are the spontaneous, powerful expression of the joy and sorrow, fear and excitement of simple men and women having close ties with mother earth. Naturally, these colourful dances began to wither and jade in the rapidly expending concrete jungles of urban society. Moreover, they faced tough competitions from another new form of mass entertainment, namely cinema. Therefore Bhagaban sahu, a man of action, didn’t waste time in blaming other for this sad state of affairs or wallowing in self pity. He took quick steps to inject life into the folk performing arts on the death bed. To him survival of great culture, tradition was important. Its perpetuation was all the more important. Hence he decided to train talented youth in folk dance and classical music.