Kumkum Mohanty

Kumkum Mohanty

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Category: Art

Kumkum Mohanty Profile

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  • Kumkum Mohanty

Kumkum Mohanty Biography

Kumkum Mohanty is an Odissi exponent, and a disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra at Kala Vikash Kendra. She is also a recipient of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra Award, 2011. For her contributions towards the field of arts and dance, government of India honoured her with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1994 and Padma Shri in 2005. She is also a recipient of Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi 1993 and Nrutyangada Samman. Currently at the age of 70+ she is a seasonal performer. She served as the first chief executive of Odissi Research Centre, founded by government of Orissa. Mohanty is also the Special Secretary (Culture) to the Government of Orissa.


Kumkum Mohanty was born on 10 September 1946 in Cuttack, Odisha. She graduated in political science. Since young she has been an exceptional dancer, who learnt from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, one of the doyens of Odissi dance form. Her sensitive portrayal of Asthapadis from the Gita Govinda makes her an extraordinary dancer. As a performer, she has also taken lead roles in a large number of works choreographed by her guru and took part in dance recitals in the country as well as in abroad. She remained his favourite student, from the age of 11 to his demise. She has also choreographed numerous dance pieces. She has also authored the book “Pathfinder — a detailed codification of the grammar of Odissi dance” in two volumes.


She currently serves as the artistic director of Geeta Govinda founded in 2005. She is also a scholar and performer, and an excellent teacher too, who has trained numerous students who present her choreographed dance pieces at different platforms. This veteran classical dancer is best known for her masterly abhinaya. She received support from her mother since childhood days. She encouraged her to learn Odissi, while her father was strict about her academic studies.

Published: September 19, 2018

Updated: September 19, 2018

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