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The Patnaik Family: Ellora Patnaik

Arts & Expression, South Asian, Dance

She has earned international acclaim as a dancer and actor. Many revered Gurus contributed to her training including: Kalasri Chitralekha Patnaik, the late Padmabibhusan Kelucharan Mohapatra, the late Padmasri Pankaj Charan Das, Padmasri Gangadhar Pradhan and the late Padmasri Sanjukta Panigrahi. She has been teaching and performing Odissi professionally since 1980. Ellora was the darling of the first batch of the esteemed Odissi Research Centre, where she received direct instruction from the late Padmabibhusan Kelucharan Mohapatra in 1988-1989.

Ellora's prodigious stage talents are not limited to dance. She holds an associate's degree from the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, where she was selected to be a member of the Company in her third year (1994). Notably, she co-starred in 'My Own Country' (1998) and starred in 'Tapish' in 2000.

In 1994, she co-founded Chitralekha Odissi Dance Creations Incorporated (CODC) with her mother, Chitralekha and her younger brother, Devraj. On 11 November 1995, Ellora danced the leading role in her own directorial debut, the Odissi dance drama 'Glaanisanghaar'. She has danced leading roles and either directed or assisted in direction for each CODC production since that time. In 2005, she delivered a landmark performance; a 31-minute solo rendition of a 'Nasha Rasa' in honour of Lord Shiva, created specifically for her by Guru Sri Devraj Patnaik. She starred as Krishna in Guru Sri Devraj Patnaik's 'Mahabharata Quadriology' (2003-2006). In 2007, she directed and starred in 'Devi'. Most recently, she performed at the 2008 CanAsian Dance Festival.

Currently, Ellora is active in both Odissi and acting.