Jayadeva is believed to have made the most significant contribution in the field of Odissi arts. He is the author of the epoch-making Geeta Gobinda. Geeta Gobinda depicts the love of Radha and Lord Krishna Jayadeva's style was highly lyrical and depiction of the divine love highly romantic.
Krishnadas Badajena Mahapatra
He was a contemporary of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was the author of 'Geeta Prakash', an authentic work on musicology.
He is known as 'Emperor' among poets (of the Middle Ages). He is famous for his Chhanda compositions all set to Raagas and Raaginis. He has used more than thirty Raagas which after 300 years are still used in Orissa.
A great Vaishnava poet, his compositions are as lucid and as lyrical as those of Jayadeva. Therefore they are very popular with Odissi singers. Gopalakrishna had as much command over Sanskrit, Telugu, Braj bhasa and Bengali as over Oriya. He used many Raagas and Talas which were not used previously by Oriya poets.
He was both a good poet and a good artist. He has etched Raaga Chitra of various Raagas on palm leaf and has also inscribed relevant Slokas with their Oriya translation. His Raaga depiction is based on the description in Sangeet Damodar.
He wrote the Champu Ramayana in 1754 A.D. His compositions are very popular with Odissi singers. He has mentioned more than one hundred Raagas. Some of them are very typical to Orissa, such as, Dakshin Kamodi, Dakshin Todi, Dakshin Shree etc. He has also mentioned many Talas which are still prevalent in Orissa.
He is called 'the Bharat muni' of modern Oriya Natyashastra. He is considered to be the pioneer theoretician of Oriya drama, dance and music. He has written on every aspect of Odissi Natyakala, Nritya and Geeta.
He wrote an important work 'Utkala Sangeeta Padhati' (1964) in Oriya. He was a singer, researcher and also a good instrumentalist.
Tarini Charan Patra
One of the foremost exponents and practitioners of Odissi music, Tarini Charan Patra can be said to have introduced the southern style of Odissi singing. He has written books on Odissi music and Hindustani music in Oriya. He has also written a notation book on Geeta Gobinda.
Sinhari Shyamsunder Kar
Born in Puri, he can be said to be the founder of Puri style of Odissi singing. Having been schooled in Sanskrit tol (school) he was well versed in the Sastras of Odissi music written in Sanskrit. He was perhaps the greatest Mardala player of his time.
A famous singer of southern style Odissi, Sahoo is popular for his performance in both Odissi and Carnatic music. He has authored more than sixteen works on Odissi.
He is considered to be one of the foremost theoreticians of Odissi musicology and the greatest exponent of the performing arts of western Orissa. Besides many valuable research papers on Odissi he has edited a number of Sanskrit works of Orissa on dramaturgy and music such as, 'Geeta prakash', 'Sangeeta Kaumud', 'Sangeeta Kalpalatika' and 'Sangeetarnaba Chandrika.'
She was the first lady artist to sing Odissi songs from Kolkata AIR.
He introduced a new style in Orissa's traditional music system. He for the first time introduced pallavi in Odissi dance and music. Now Pallavi is an essential part of Odissi dance system. In Odissi dance performance today the Pallavi and the way the Odissi songs are sung have been the joint creation of Balakrishna Das and Bhubaneswar Mishra (who is more famous as a violinist). He was the most popular Odissi singer and teacher in living memory and the most famous modern composer of Odissi songs. He can be said to have set a style of singing with inimitable Gamak.
A renowned teacher of Odissi he has made notations for nearly 200 songs of Kavichandra Kalicharan in Odissi style.
Her style, now popular as 'Shyamamani style,' is a confluence of the style of Balkrishna and Simhari Shyamsunder. For her melodious voice and service to the cause of Odissi music she has received nearly fifty awards including President's award twice.
He is an expert in both Odissi music as well as medieval Oriya literature. He has received many awards. His 'Sangeeta Sangya' published in 1996 is still considered to be the most definitive text book on Odissi music.
Besides singing solo many Odissi singers also give performance with Odissi dancers. Some such famous accompanists are Raghunath Panigrahi, Gopalchandra Panda, Ramahari Das and Mohapatra Minati Bhanja.
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