PEOPLE WHO ADMIRE DAYANIDHI DAS

Dhayanidhi Smruti Kala Parishad and its
founder, guru Dhayanidhi Das, one of the many self made artists, dancers and
musicians all rolled in one, who have dedicated their entire life to the cause of
Odissi dance, but have hardly received any recognition so far.
                             Ileana Citaristi

MAYADHARA ROUT REMEMBERED
                                           Dayanidhi Das
“When I started teaching Odissi at Kala Vikas Kendra in 1952, Shri Dayanidhi Das
accompanied us in the class on the Tabla. I knew Dayanidhi Das much before the started
teaching Odissi at Kala Vikas Kendra.
Dayanidhi Bhai, as I fondly addressed him, was part of an amateur drama group along
with Sharada Prasanna Nayak and others. These dramas were presented at the Annapurna B
Theatres where I looked after the stage management. That is wehre I befriended Dayanidhi
Bhai. Our friendship blossomed during our days at Kala Vikas Kendra.
Those were the days when Cuttack was witnessing a resurgence of cultural activities;
specially in classical art (Tabla, Sitar and Vocal). With the help of Babulal Doshi I began the
very first Odissi classes as a course of study in Cuttack. Babulal Doshi played an important
role in reviving the ‘classical atmosphere’ in Cuttack. He started Kala Vikas Kendra, the one
and only Institution in Cuttack that promoted dance as well as music. His home was the centre
where all artists got together and discussions were held on various topics. Dayanidhi Bhai and
I were part of these early morning meetings at Babu Lal Doshi’s place. We mainly met to think
of ways to initiate students into learning classical dance and music. The entire endeavour was
towards creating an awareness amongst people to come out of their homes and become part
of the ‘classical’ cultural atmosphere that had starrted in Cuttack at that time. The parents
mainly needed assurance of their wards’ safety and security. They demanded that the students
be picked up and dropped at homes. Nilamadhab Bose and Bhuvananand Das took up this
responsibility. They would like the students to their respective homes in the evenings after
dance and music lessons got over.
Everybody dreamt of making a success of Kala Vikas Kendra, therefore worked towards
it. Gradually with the efforts of Dayanidhi Das, Baikunth Nath Mohanty, Nilamadhab Bose,
Bhuvananand Das, Gorachand Mishra, Dhira Biswal, Pranay Bhushan Chandra, mine and
others, Kala Vikas Kendra became the hub of classical arts and the place was flooded with somany students that Kala Vikas Kendra shifted to a bigger place at Ganga Mandir from Odia
Bazar. More artists joined us here like Kelucharan Mohapatra (dance), Balakrushna Dash
(Vocal), Madhusudan Ghosh (Sitar). Kala Vikas Kendra was creating history by presenting
many cultural programmes. We went out of Orissa for the first time in 1953 when we received
an invitation to present cultural evening in Patna. Dayanidhi bhai accompanied my Odissi
students on the table. My student Sadhna Bose presented Dashavatar dance piece that was so
well appreciated that KVK presented me with a wrist-watch in appreciation. Odissi dance had
started gaining popularly. The dance was graceful, with classical elements and the music,
soul-stirring.
On our return to Cuttack we felt that Odissi should be taught on a prescribed syllabud.
This was in 1954, Dayanidhi Bhai came forward to help in doing so. So he sat along with me
and Kelucharan Mohapatra and we chalked out the very first syllabus of Odissi dance. A big
credit for this goes to Dayanidhi bhai. A proficient table player, Dayanidhi bhai had very good
knowledge of Kathak and in 1961 he passed the Kathak examinations of Bhatkhande Sangeet
Vidyapeeth. He was also a member of the Kala Vikas Kendra research team that went to
Sambalpur to to document tribal and folk dances. Dayanidhi Das was very eager to take
forward and promote dance and music, therefore when we formed Jayantika Association in
1959 for the codification and promotion of Odissi dance he became its secretary and worked
tirelessly along with other Gurus and scholars. Like all of us he too was elated when Odissi
dance was finally recognised as a classical dance at national level.
Dayanidhi bhai was very fond of children. In early 50s, PSP political party published a
newspaper in Odia language named Krishak. Dayanidhi Bhai wrote a column for children in
this. He answered children’s questions on various topics as their ‘Madhu Aja’ (Madhu grandpa).
This column was very popular amongst children.
Dayanidhi bhai was very simple in his habits. He was a teetotaler. He was very particular
of hygiene and clearliness; therefore did not like to eat outside. Once we went out to breakfast
at railway station. He was not satisfied with any of the tiffin-stalls; so he made me walk for 1
mile till finally we came across a small place where all the eatables were stored very neatly in
glass cases. He said, “Mayadhar, see how well they cook and store things here”. Theis is how
particular he was of what he ate.I  always remember Dayanidhi bhai with great affection. Whenever we record or document
facts on Odissi dance the name of Dayanidhi Das is always taken with great respect. My
daughter Madhumita has written about him and published his protograph in her book Odissi”–
History, Technique and Evolution. In 1960s all the Gurus took up teaching assignments and got
settled in their respective jobs. Dayanidhi bhai also joined an academic school and settled
down as a teacher. I shifted to Delhi in late 60s; Jayantika association is now being managed
by my daughter and senior students in Delhi.
I last met Dayanidhi bhai in 1978 at a seminar on Odissi dance organised in Bhubaneswar
by Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi. This gave us a great opportunity to reminiscence about old
times over a sumptuous meal at his residence. While writing this I went down the memory lane;
it feels as if it was just yesterday that I shared the morning tifin with Dayanidhi bhai.
as told to Madhumita
                 by *Padmashri* Guru Mayadhara rout

Dayanidhi Das was highly educated among all the dance teachers in the beginning of 19th century Due to his wiseness and vision Odissi dance got revived .As the general secretary of jayantika he assembled all the dance gurus to cundoct reaserch in Odissi dance.He was a very good kathak dance teacher along with Odissi dance.

VIEWS OF PEOPLE

1 – DR.ARUN KUMAR SAHOO
M.L.A ., NAYAGARH
ODISHA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

HON’BLE MINISTER
TOURISM & CULTURE
ODISHA, BHUBANESWAR
Sir
Guru Dayanidhi Das, founder of Dayanidhi Smruti Kala
Parisada, Cuttack
born in village Sajanapada of
Nayagarh district, is one of the many self made
artists, dancers and musicians all rolled in one, who have
dedicated entire life to the cause of Odissi dance but have
hardly received any recognition so far.
1. In 1952 he was the creator of basic Odissi syllabus along
with the name Odissi dance which was adopted in Kala
Vikash Kendra, National Music association, Utkal sangeet
samaj and Odisha Sangeet Parisad, Puri etc.
2. In 1958 to 1963 he started an organization named
Jayantika for the betterment of Odissi dance as a result the
Odissi dance got the National entity.
3. He was acted as an active member of Kala Vikash
Kendra, Cuttack for a long time and taken various steps for
the interest of Odissi dance.
4. At that time he was known as a famous choreographer,
Dance Guru in Odissi and Kathak.
5. He was served as a dance teacher in various institutions
like Utkal Sangeet Samaj, Lalita Kala Achademy,
Kalabhaban, Sahid Laxman Nayak academy etc for a long
time.
6. In 1968 during his tenure as the Head of dance
department of Lalita kala pitha prepared detail syllabus on
odissi for the Prayag Sangeet Samiti,
7. Established “Khandapada Nayagarh Janata’ High School
in his native village Sajanpada in district Nayagarh in 1968
and the school is going to celebrate its Golden Jubuli in
the current year. Also established Baliyala singha Bani mandira in
his Village and many more.
He died on 14 March 1979 at the age of 50 on the day of
Holi.
In view of the above lifelong activities, mainly for the uplift
of Odissi dance it is requested to take steps for giving
prestigious award posthumously and recognisation to
keep alive the remembrance of the Guru of the state.

2 -.         EXCERPTS FROM “ODISSI YATRA”
           The journey of Guru Mayadhar Rout 
 Page 42
Kala Vikash Kendra was invited to put up a performance of 10 minutes at
seminar about the National Saving Certificate. Shri Dayanidhi Das played Tabla
and Sadhana Bose performed Kathak.
Page 45
Contribution of Dayanidhi Das towards teaching of Odissi Dance
Shri Dayanidhi Das wrote the first Syllabus for teaching Odissi in Kala Vikas
Kendra. It was an achievement as for the final time in the history of Odisha, Odissi
dance was taught as a regular subject in Degree Course.
Page 78
Dayanidhi Das as a real contributor towards upliftment of Odissi Dance.
Those who really contributed towards this goal were D. N. Pattnaik, Kelu charan
Mohapatra, Mayadhar Raut and late Dayanidhi Das.
Page 79
Contribution of Dayanidhi Das in giving musical support to Odissi Dance.
Kelu Charan Mohapatra, Rakhal Mohanty, Dayanidhi Das and Sunakar Sahu
gave the musical support in Jayantika’s First programme at ‘Nari Seva Sangha
Sadan’.
Page 99
Dayanidhi das a lyricist
     
               Lyrics :
    Dayanidhi das
 Kali charan pattnaik
Radha mohan garnaik

STUDENTS OF GURU DAYANIDHI DAS

   

          INDIRA BEURIA IN KATHAK DANCE

    INDIRA BEURIA IN ODISSI DANCE

      INDIRA BEURIA IN KATHAK DANCE

INDIRA BEURIA IN ODISSI DANCE

 MANU BANARJEE & PUSPA BANARJEE IN FOLK DANCE

GROUP FOLK DANCE AT JAMMU & KASHMIR

PUSPA BANARJEE IN ODISHI DANCE

ALAKA RAY & RITA BISWAL IN DANCE DRAMA

INDIRA BEURA IN FOLK DANCE

Dayanidhi Das with his Dance troupe

GURU DAYANIDHI DAS

                 GURU DAYANIDHI DAS

             A VERSATILE PERSONALITY
A dance guru of Odissi ,Kathak ,and manipuri .A good choreographer in odissi and kathak. A dramatist ,a good righter ,a reputed teacher in Secondary Board High School, a social worker an instrumentalist in tabla, pakhoj,dholok etc….
          Born in a remote village named SAJANAPADA of Nayagarh district of Odisha
Passed matriculation in 1947 from Brajendra high school at Nayagarh town.
Died on 14th march 1979,on HOLI a festival of colour !

                      WORK DONE
    (Contribution towards odissi dance)
1- .Framed a regular dance syllabus of four year course naming as Odissi dance .
This happend for the first time in the history of Odisha in 1952 – 53 . This syllabus was first implemented in Kala Vikash Kendra.
There after national music association, Utkal Sangit Samaj, Odisha Sangita Parisada followed the same syllabus.
In this way Odishi dance came into ligte.

2- .In 1954 Inter university youth festival held at New delhi , when Dayanidhi was a student of Revenwsa University in Utkal University.
In that festival priyambada hejmadi was highly appreciated for her dance .
Dayanidhi Das accompanied tabla with ‘Dasabatara’ dance presented by Dhiren pattnaik who was also honered in that festival.

3 – . Also framed the syllabus of odissi dance for Prayaga sangeet samiti of Allahabad, which is in vogue till today.

4 – .In division of Odissi dance, gave the idea of Mancha puja, Bhumi puja and Bhumi pranama should be done in the first part.
He named this part as Mangala charana.

5 – . GENERAL  SECRETARY OF JAYANTIKA was an association of odissi dance Guru’s like Padma bibhusana Kelucharana Mahapatra , Padma Shree Mayadhara rout , guru Deba prasad das and many other’s .
It was established on 22nd june 1958 by Guru Dayanidhi das
Due to extensive research of the members of jayantika since 1958-1963 , Odissi dance got the recognition as a classical dance of india

6 – .A good writer of dance-drama, drama, ballet, poetry, and odia Barnobodha, His literarry works are available at Raja Rammohan Ray library.

7 – .His pogrammes (especially ballet shortplay and song) were broadcast  by all india radio and Dooradarshana regularly during his life time.

8-Classical vocal concerts were organised regularly by him in his institution in Kala bhawan . Highly reputed singers and musicians used to take part in those pogrammes on every fullmoon day.

9- Besides his teaching job he used to serve as a part time dance teacher in N.M.A , Utkal Sangit Samaj, lalita kala pitha, kalinga college of music and dance and many more. he was one of the founder of Kala Bikas Kendra in 1950.  In 1960 he established his own Organization Kala Bhawan which is still running in the name Dayanidhi smruti kala Parisada after his untimily demise .

An Artist sends light into  the Universe. his body and soul.
Poor finances, the grinds and labour to accomplish his noble mission,
withered his body but could never dampen his spirit. On the 14th of
March 1979, at the age fifty, Guru Dayanidhi Das left the world around
him with his works unfinished and mission unfulfilled. Efforts are still
going on to achieve his unaccomplished missions.

BOOKS WRITTEN BY GURU DAYANIDHI DAS

JAYANTIKA- A book containing documents depicting the effort taken for the systemization of the odissi dance form.

NATYA SANDHYA is  book on dance drama
PALLI SANJE -Is a book depicting evening life in village.
BANI ARCHANA-a poem book on odissi,modern and patriotic songs
AMRUTA SANTANA -Is a book on ballet and dance drama.
It is highly educative and entertaining for children
ANJULAE NATAKA-Is a book on ballet and dance drama.
It is highly educative and entertaining for children
NATIKA CHAYAN -Is a book on ballet and dance drama.
It is highly educative and entertaining for children

ARTICLES WRITTEN BY FREINDS AND STUDENT’S

GURU DAYANIDHI DAS REMEMBERED
                             – ALAKA RAY, LONDON, U.K.

Teaching is finding what one loves and then doing it. The venue of teaching is also a place
of high drama- and the teacher does not always know what to expect, what he has delivered to the
hundreds that come and go or has failed or denied them. A sensitive teacher can also tell if he has
reached his pupils or alienated them. It is all psychology. It is chemistry. It is animal instinct.
I was summing up my thoughts that came to my mind about “teaching” as a profession and
the Teacher” as a professional when I, suddenly, realised that my thoughts had developed while I
recalled my long association with someone who had arrived coincidentally in my life both as a teacher

and a spiritual mentor and a genuine well wisher.
My mind had focused on such a person- the late Shri Dayanidhi Das. I am recalling him from
my memories of decades ago! My descriptions of people and the places, events and venues would,
therefore, be floating about but they will be centering around this one person- the late Shri Das. They
will be somewhat anecdotal too.
I was a pupil in the lower Primary standard at the Utkal Vidyapith of Kharagpur- the only Oriya
School in west Bengal at that time. As a child I had always been attracted to the various forms of
‘performing arts’ viz. Dance, drama and the depiction of mythological stories that I used to experience
while watching the ‘yatras’ which, invariably, used to transport me to an indescribable region as if in
a trance and on returning home, and still remaining under their influence for days afterwards, I used
to perform my ‘role’ imitating the movements of my ‘characters’ and expressing myself through dancing
in front of a large mirror!
It was during one such private sessions of my own where the mirror had played the vital role�conducted by some invisible director, it had become my guide, my critic and my audience, all in one.
I had remained totally absorbed; performing, repeating, approving or disapproving, repeating once
more until satisfied and then, at last achieving what I wanted to do. I was too oblivious, on that
occasion, of the fact that I was being watched from a distance by Dayanidhi “Sir” who, in the meanwhile,
had become a close friend of my father and even stayed in our house as a temporary lodger!
‘Sir’ expressed his desire that he would like to train me as a ‘pupil’ and would like to take me
through a whole array of dance styles ranging from Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri because he wasconvinced that he had espied someone with a huge potential! That was sheer instinct of a ‘gifted’
teacher!
Dayanidhi Das had arrived at the Utkal Vidyapith- the only Oriya School in West Bengal at
that time. As he settled in, it became abundantly clear that he was a multi-talented teacher with a
deep sense of dedication and sympathy for his students and one who could teach from his heart.
Although he was teaching in the Senior School and was handling the General Subjects viz. Geography,
Oriya and at times extending to English; his presence was perceptible through his participation in a
range of extra-curricular activities by his unrivalled proficiency in ‘Dance’.
Such was the impact of his teaching that the Vidyapith flourished beyond all expectations and
its name began to appear at various venues in Bengal and Orissa hosting cultural events, Competitions
and winning Trophies! Although I was amongst the youngest in his Group I had, by then, become his
chosen one! My fulfilment and joy knew no bounds and its effects permeated through to my other
studies which progressed alongside unhindered.
I had, in fact, begun to realise that therapeutic aspect of ‘dancing’- its discipline that benefits
the mental frame of a student and aids to enhance concentration, almost like ‘meditation’. So, I
progressed through the school quite normally and my preparation for the exams. remained undisturbed.
‘Sir’ had taught me the ways to organise my ‘time’ between home and school and to find a balance
between the academic and the extra-curricular activities. I enjoyed both on experiencing how the
‘one’ complimented the ‘other’! What an inspiring teacher Dayanidhi ‘Sir’ was! He was a severe
critic who could also strike a soft chord while dealing with his pupils. Later, he had also taught at the
Secondary Board School, Cuttack and as always contributed significantly to the extra-curricular
pursuits especially ‘dance’ alongside teaching the General Subjects as earlier mentioned.
By that time I had begun travelling with him to the distant venues of Orissa and Bengal wherever
he had entered his ‘troupe’ for competitions. While travelling, I had learnt about the trauma and the
frustrations that some parents suffer whenever their children failed to achieve their own high
expectations of their wards; and so incensed they would become that they took it out on their children
in the most insensitive and undignified manner without realising the harm that such behaviour might
cause. I have also seen how blessed they feel when they are warmly received and congratulated by
their parents who are prepared to celebrate any little achievement, may be simply through taking part
in such big competitions! This was all possible due to the foresight of a progressive teacher.Finally, I recall an occasion, on a very large venue at the Annual Function of the Radhanath
Training College. I was a student of Class V of the practising Girls’ School of the same institution
where ‘Sir’ had also studied. There, I had the most overwhelming experience of performing on a very
large stage in front of what seemed to me to be a ‘sea of people’ with the dignitaries of the State
seated in the front row and other guests. I was probably one of the smallest of the performers and
must have looked even smaller while doing a ‘Solo’! It was a performance of a ‘Kathak’ dance and
being accompanied by ‘Sir’ on the ‘drum’ . He was an accomplished exponent of ‘Tabala’ and
‘Mrudangam’ and accompanied my dances.
I have already mentioned how multi-talented he was and during his accompaniment one could
see him at his best! The infusion of energy while he played displayed a sense of spirituality which
culminated through the duration of the performance.
The sound of the accolade that burst forth at the end of that number still reverberates in my
heart when I am able to recall that magical moment after all these years. I can remember how I was
picked up with warm affection by the head teacher of our School!
Since then, the years have rolled by and much water has flowed under the bridge. My own life has
progressed through trying circumstances in a distant land coupled with the bareness of such cultural
pursuits that used to sustain me while in India. And although my dreams of furthering my own
achievements have withered without any urging, encouragement or scope, my thoughts remain warm
and full of gratitude towards the person who had come in my life in the formative years and made it
richer in many ways. So, in conclusion I say;
Dayanidhi ‘Sir’ “Remembrance oft may pursue thee”

               A TRIBUTE TO GURUJI
                                       Mrs. Rajalaxmi Ratha
                                       Mrs. Subhalaxmi Misra

Our dance school “Nrityana” in Cuttack in the small lane opposite Kanika Rajbati was for
us no less that “God’s own abode”. The reverence with which we held our teacher, Guru
Dayanidhi Das, was rather common those days but the love and affection showered on us, the
young dancers by Guruma and their family of smaller children, than overwhelming. We actually
were in awe of the whole family. Most of us came from good backgrounds with bigh houses,
cars, servants etc. But our Guru’s little rented house never appeared small to us. It was our
temple. Our slippers were always kept neatly outside the verandah so that our Guru would
never step on it by mistake. What respect our Guru commanded !
Wednesdays and Saturdays were days where the new little dancers got together. The
everning moment school got over we were back home promptly, had a quick wash, grabbed a
bite and waited on the verandah for the private rickshaw from our dance school. We never
forgot our dance school. We never forgot our dance notebook and the ‘ghungroo’. After dance
school got over we coaxed the rickshaw puller to drop us last as we had lovely time dropping off
other friends who were staying a little far away. Readers can now understand why Guruji and
his dance school was so special for us. The rickety gate which let us in after the rickshaw put
us down, creaked and opened only sixty degrees to let us in. Our demeanor changed the
moment we entered this gate. All the laughter, loud talk on the way to the dance school came to
an abrupt halt and we changed into responsible and dedicated students, it is difficult to put into
words, the exact change and the great feeling.
Our Guru was a slim, tall man of brownish complexion, but had a commanding personality.
We took to learning dance with great dedication and each one of the six friends travelling in the
private rickshaw became good dancers. Only the younger one of us was slow in picking up the
steps as her ‘two left’ feet prevented her from reaching the same standard. But the softness
with which Guruji dealt with the problem still remains etched in our minds. His patient and
understanding nature improved matters and the result was quite a few shows in school andelsewhere. The traditional setting at home did not allow us to pursue dance as a career and few
of us regret it till data. The care that Guruji took to instill in us the perfection in ‘taal’ and posture
would have made quite a handful of us dancers of repute. The small stick in his hands, which
helped him in the beats of the dance, never landed on anyone’s leg, even when anybody
committed a mistake. It would beat harder in quick succession on the floor and we immediately
understood our mistake.
The dedication of both ‘Guru’ and ‘Sishya’ was unmatched. Once his daughter, a baby
was very unwell with high temperature. We students landed up on a wednesday evening as
usual. There was silence on the verandah and some were murmuring that classes will not be
held. At the dot of six o’clock, Guruji emerged and took our classess with the same care and
attention. What dedication Guruji had towards his passion of dancing. Saraswati Puja in the
months of January-February was celebrated with great pomp and show. We landed up early in
our new dresses and ribbons and helped in decorating the deity and the small pandal. Flowers,
paper flags, mango leaves, coloured rangoli, ‘Chitta’ in rice paste, made ‘Maa Saraswati’ look
respledent. The ‘aarti’ was done by the local pandit and our Guruji sat on a small rug near the
idol of the Goddess, offering flowers to the chanting of the mantras and slokas by the pundit.
After the worship and ‘pushpanjali’ came the assembling for the ‘prasad’. It was indeed deliciously
made with love and affection by our Guruma. The tastes of it is still remembered by all of us.
These were some of the memories with which we lived and grew up, until the day we got
a call from Bijayaxmi, Guruji’s daughter who has assiduously tried to keep the memories of her
great father (our Guruji) to us. We were caught up with our family commitments and time flew
by. He is no more amongst us today, is something hard to believe. Life and death are the truths
that cannot be escaped. He may be gone from this world but still lives large in our hearts
forever

        AN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO GURUJI
                                             P. Chitra
During my childhood, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I remember my mother
compelling me to join either a dance or singing class. I was very unwilling to do either. However,
she soon heard of a weekend dance class being held in the campus of Kalinga Tubes Ltd.,
Choudwar and she got me enrolled there.
Along with a few more girls from our campus, I began to attend these classes which were
held on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.
In the beginning it was more of fun time than serious learning, but later when our Guru,
the revered Shri Dayanidhi Das began teaching us, we became serious. His passion for
dance began to enthral us. We became serious and began to learn both Odissi and Kathak.
Besides dance, our respected Guru insisted on us getting the nuances right. He taught us
the theory, explained the why’s and how’s, stressed on mudras, postures, etc. He was a strict
disciplinarian. He sought perfection and did not let us go till we completed the class properly
and with all sincerity.
He gave every student individual attention and made each one practice till one had got the
steps right. He also made us take the exams to make us know that it was not just a hobby, but
could be taken up as a profession at a later date.
His grace and charm while performing was mesmerizing. Although, I did not pursue these
classes for long and never took it up professionally, I bow my head with respect to Guruji for
having developed an aesthetic sense in me. I enjoy watching dance performances, appreciate
the rhythm and music and these act as stress busters in today’s world. The classes conducted
by Guruji have proved to be highly beneficial to me.
I pray to God that may his soul rest in peace and may God give every student such a
wonderful teacher.