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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Minati Mishra, one of the most respected and revered Odissi dancer and Padma Shri awardee passed away at the age of 91 in Switzerland, family sources said on Monday.

Mishra, who worked alongside first-generation gurus of Odissi such as Guru Deba Prasad Das and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, received huge applause and many accolades for taking the classical dance beyond the country. She danced extensively in India and Europe, and has also researched on the subject, obtaining a Ph.D on the Natya- sastra from Phillips University, Germany.

A recipient of the 1975 Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Kalinga Shastriya Sangeet Parishad Award and many other recognition, Mishra was honoured with Padma Shri in 2012.

Born in 1929 in Cuttack, she started learning dance and music from quite an early age and went on to build a glittering career in the classical dance over span of several decades.

Not only dance, Minati Mishra had also acted in five Odia movies. Apart from her film career, she had also been an A Grade artist at the All India Radio and was a recipient of Sangeet Prabhakar title for Hindustani vocal music.

Soon after the death of her husband, Nityananda Mishra, who was an engineer, in 1980, Mishra retracted from dance performances and formally retired in 1990. She settled in Switzerland and devoted her time for dance festivals, lecture tours and workshops in Switzerland, Canada and India.

Expressing grief over the death of the Odissi maestro, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said she will be remembered for her contribution in the field of Odissi.

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