Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi (Author)
Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi is the pioneer Odissi dancer whose performance in the First Inter-University Youth Festival in 1954, New Delhi, led to the discovery of Odissi dance and drew national attention to this art form. She gave the first full evening Odissi performance in New Delhi in 1961 to establish Odissi as a self-sufficient classical dance form. Trained by all the leading gurus, she has received several national recognition including the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award as one of the finest exponents of Odissi. Recipient of titles Nrutya Saraswati and Nrutya Bharati, she has played a significant role in the revival and popularization of Odissi both in India and abroad. Her primer on Odissi Dance (Netic, New Delhi) is widely used by dancers and scholars alike. A zoologist by profession she has received Padmashri from the President of India for her contribution in Science and Technology. She is the former Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University.
Ahalya Hejmadi Patnaik (Author)
Ahalya Hejmadi Patnaik, daughter of Priyambada, is the Youngest disciple of the doyen of Odissi, Guru Pankaj Charan Das. She is the first Odissi dancer to have been awarded the title Padma Keshari in 1984 by Chinta-O-Chetana, Bhubaneswar for adding a new dimension in Odissi repertoire and for reviving the Thali Dance in Odissi after 25 years. A psychologist by profession, she is a specialist on cross-cultural emotions and has given lecture demonstrations on the subject in many Universities in USA, Europe and Asia. At present she is teaching in the Universities of Maryaland and Pennsylvania, USA.