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About Late Guru Surendra Nath Jena:

 

Born in 1924 in Utchapur, Orissa, Guru Surendranath Jena began his career as a Jatra performer. These performers, who moved across the countryside, displayed the dazzling and colorful spectacle of life in Jatra performances. Encouraged by his mother, at the age of 9, he joined the itinerant Jatra and Rasa parties and was trained at Banmali Das Theatre under Guru Anand Nayak. He eventually became the Director of Sharda Kala Kunj of Nagaspur, Orissa’s most popular Jatra troupes at that time. 

 After this vivid, creative experience, Guruji spent 6 months in Calcutta, learning the completely contrasting, sophisticated art of Kathakali under Guru Balakrishna Menon. He then returned to Cuttack to continue his training in Odissi at the Kala Vikas Kendra, which was the first modern Odissi school. Guruji spent 5 years there, studying the style recreated by the Jayantika group.

Shri Jena moved to Delhi in the mid-sixties and began teaching at Triveni Kala Sangam. During the last 35-40 years, he has extended the vocabulary of movement of the reconstructed tradition and evolved a distinct style of Odissi, permeated with a deep experience of Oriya culture, Orissan temple sculpture, especially Konark and Chaunsath Yogini temples, the ˜patachitraâ" and "taalpatraâ" palm leaf literature, and texts such as the Abhinaya Darpana, Abhinaya Chandrika, and Chandi Purana.

Guru Surendra Nath Jena's style of dance has been the subject of a study by Dr. Alessandra Lopez y Royo, a research associate for SOAS and senior lecturer at Roehampton University London in 2005-6, who produced a documentary film titled Performing Konark, Performing Hirapur .  He has trained many dance scholars like Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, Ranjana Gauhar, Yamini Krishnamurthy, and Dr Frederique Marglin. In the seventies, he thrice got opportunities to render his teaching abilities in the United States.

He has received several awards, including the Nritya Bhushan from Kala Vikash Kendra, Cuttack, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 2006 for his contribution to Odissi dance.  He passed away on October 8, 2007, in Delhi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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