A well-known and dedicated Odissi dancer, Dr Mukur De struck her first dancing steps at the tender age of three under the watchful eyes of Smt. Amala Shankar at the renowned Uday Shankar India Culture Centre, Kolkata, India. While she was exposed to the entire range of classical and contemporary dance forms at the centre, her inclination towards Odissi under Guru Muralidhar Majhi was clearly identified. This prompted her family to seek, for Mukur, the guidance of now Late Sanjukta Panigrahi, recipient of India’s prestigious Padmashree award.
Mukur was also guided by Guru Giridhari Nayak and Smt. Poushali Mukherjee, leading students of Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, father of modern Odissi dance and recipient of India’s highest recognition – the Padmabibhusan award. The robust foundation lovingly laid by Smt. Panigrahi enabled Mukur to unflinchingly face Guru Kelucharan, himself, in 1985.
Mukur has attended several workshops for Odissi dance style conducted by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra, Smt. Sujata Mohapatra and Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi. She has also attended workshops for abhinaya under Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan and of the Mohiniattyam style of dance under Smt. Bharati Shivaji.
Since her school days, Mukur also choreographed pieces of contemporary dance items with a mixture of classical styles, which were well-appreciated. An excellent oral pathologist by life-choice, Mukur’s passion for Odissi dance also established her as a brilliant top-rung dancer who has performed in numerous music-and-dance festivals in India as well as overseas, gathering several awards and favourable media reviews in the process.
Mukur enjoys teaching and realizes that learning is never complete unless acquired knowledge is effectively passed on. Pallavi Arts Center of Mississauga, Canada, is her brainchild, through which Mukur’s aim is to groom dance lovers and produce passionate and flawless dancers, not just performers. Trying to catch them young, along with traditional Odissi items, she also teaches her students contemporary dance items of her own choreography. Her students are also encouraged to compose and choreograph independently to enhance their creative skills, because "Creativity" is the last word in visual arts.
Today, partnerships, associations and cooperation are the order of the day. Mukur, along with friends from Canada, each specialized in a different classical Indian dance style, have grouped together to form "Samahar". Their maiden experiment with five different dance styles has already taken off, wresting excellent responses. Do stand by for Samahar’s other blazing performances!!