Biography of Padmashree Bhagaban Sahu, an eminent folk dancer

Through this article, I want to convey information regarding the eminent folk dancer and Padmashree award winner Shri Bhagaban Sahu of Ganjam Dist. of Odisha. For details see the description presented below.

Personal Profile of Sri Bhagaban Sahu

Padmashree Shri Bhagaban Sahu was born in 1922 to a middle class Brahmin Family. Profile Photoin the remote village Badakusasthali of Ganjam District of Odisha. He was not so good in his studies. It is also alleged that he was not a good student. His formal education was limited to VIII class only. By giving up his studies, he worked in a circus and under went the gymnastics training under the guidance of Sri Radha Syam Das. He was fond of Dance and Music from the early part of his childhood. His strong passion has made him a great folk dancer and a worthy son of Odisha.

What lead Mr. Sahu to Choose Folk Dance as his Career?

He was a very bold and dedicated person. He chose the way that no body has ever thought off. The endangered and neglected folk dance of Odisha, especially of Ganjam dist. were gave him opportunity to thought to revive it. And his passion towards dance and drama has added fuel to it. Folk dances were always been a strong expression of joy and sorrow, simplicity of village life and culture of villagers. Due to the rapid increase of Concrete Forest and growing popularity of Cinema lead to decline of Folk dances. But Sri Sahu took it a challenge and made his heartfelt effort to popularize it till his last breadth. Because of his effort folk dances like Ranapa, Chodeya, Ghumura, Pancha Badya, Jhumpa and many more have got their recognition not only inside the country but also abroad.

Contributions of Sri Bhagaban Sahu

Sri Sahu was versed with God gifted acting quality. Known as a competent actor, he played well-known characteristic role of Kirtivirjya, Kalapahad and Sambarasura to perfection. He always did rigorous rehearsals before performing his role before live audience. It shows his strong passion and love towards it. He also found an open air theatre group during his youth age.

He had choreographed the Movie "Bagh Bahadur", which was based on the folk dance "Tiger Dance". The movie got high acclamation by the people of Odisha.

To revive the folk culture, Sri Sahu trained talented youths to the perfection. He along with his trained youth artists participated in a large number of Festivals, Dance Competitions and cultural programmes. His participation always gave an opportunity for the audience to know regarding the endangered folk dances of Odisha and in result enhanced their popularity.

Many a times, he gave his performance abroad in the places like London, Spain, Africa, Bhutan, Abu Dhabi , New Zealand etc. And he got highly appreciated by the audience for each of his performance. It helped a lot in popularizing the excellent folk culture of Odisha and its beauty abroad

Kala Vikash Kendra and Sri Bhagaban Sahu

Sri Sahu was so much anguished by the attitude of the Govt. of Odisha towards these folk culture. So he took the decision to found of his own an institution for training the youth in 1954 at Narendrapur, which is popularly known as "Kala Vikash Kendra". He nurtured this institution in such a manner and with great enthusiasm and vigor so that it can play a great role in the revive of the endangered culture. He fulfilled all his vision and dream from this institution only. Kala Vikash Kendra got its recognition as an International Dance Training Centre by the Govt. of India in the year 1974.

Awards/Honors received by Shri Bhagaban Sahu

Because of his multi talent, dedication & passion towards folk dance, noble deeds, Shri Bhagaban Sahu was conferred with numerous national and international awards and honors. Some most important ones are:
  • President's Medal for his Vigorous Paika Martial Dance performance on Republic day Celebration in the year 1958.
  • Special Award for his Drum Dance Performance on Republic Day Celebration in the year 1961.
  • Tulasi Samman by the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh in the year 1985.
  • Kendra Sangita Nataka Academy Award by Central Govt. in the year 1975.
  • Padmashree Award by Central Govt. in the year 1992.
  • Honor of Entertainment in Royal Palace of England by Queen Elizabeth for his performance of Chodeya Dance in England.


The evergreen folk dancer and worthy son of Odisha took his last breadth on August 12, 2002. He was at a time an excellent actor, outstanding dancer, good teacher, singer, director, percussionist and a choreographer. He has dedicated all his life in the revive of the endangered folk culture. Through his performance, he always danced in the hearts of people. Though this great personality is no more in the world, but he will always remain alive in the folk dances. He will always be remembered in the hearts of people.


  • Profile photo (25940-1-b-sahu.bmp)
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