Her name figures amongst the foremost exponents in the world of Indian Classical Dance. She is Ranjana Gauhar, a world renowned Odissi dancer and a multidimensional personality. Smt. Ranjana Gauhar has been honoured with the prestigious Padmashree Award in 2003 for her longstanding services in the field of Odissi Dance. She is also the recipient of the National Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007 from the President of India. Senior Fellowship for her research in the temple tradition of Odissi dance by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshani Award and Mahari Award in 2007 and many other accolades.
Ranjana ji’s performances bear the signature of a distinctive style because of her extensive training in Chhau, Kathak and Manipuri as well. It has widened her knowledge and understanding of Indian Classical Dance. Such a background has led her to boldly explore and reach out to other creative expressions such as authoring a book “Odissi, The Dance Divine”, which was released on the 13 February, 2007.
Padmashree Ranjana received her training under the legendary Guru Mayadhar Rout and Ms. Aloka Paniker.
Gaiety, graced and strength are the hall mark of Ranjana ji’s performances, compelling the spellbound audiences to describe her recital as an experience in sublime spiritual odyssey. Ranjana has also produced and directed a number of ballets depicting modern and mythological themes.
Padmashree Ranjana Gauhar has travelled with her art of Odissi dance across the length and breadth of the country. She has participated in prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad. This cultural ambassador of India has performed at the festival of India, Queen Elizabeth Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Hall of Plymouth, the Commonwealth Institute, Oxford University, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, Dahlem Museum, Berlin, West Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Serbia, Cyprus, Kuwait, Switzerland, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, Japan, Holland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Croatia and Latin American Countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico. In Mexico, Ranjana ji represented India at the Cerventino Festival. She has also exposed the beauty of Odissi dance to audience in Cambodia, Bhutan, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, the continent of Africa, Mauritius and Egypt. Smt. Ranjana Gauhar and group inaugurated the festival of India in South Korea in July 2011 followed by performances in Japan, China, Singapore and Phillippines. She has given solo and group recitals in various festivals all over the world.
She is also actively involved in creating awareness through presenting lec-dem in rural and semi rural regions of the country. Ranjana ji is the moving spirit behind the non-governmental organization ‘Utsav’ started by her in 1987.