BHUBANESWAR: Eminent percussionist Guru Banamali Maharana passed away after prolonged illness in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. He was 77.
Guru Maharana was undergoing treatment at SUM Hospital where he breathed his last. Born in Raghurajpur village of Puri district on May 16,1941, he had an affinity towards musical instruments during his childhood. Although he did not get any formal training, the exponent drew inspiration from 'Raaslila' authored by Mohan Sundardev Goswamy and began playing Khol and Dholak. His formal training in playing Mardala and Tabla began after he joined Annapurna Theatre in Puri where he learnt the craft from Singhari Shyamsundar Kar and Kshetramohan Kar.
Later, he started accompanying Odissi legend Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and started playing Mardala in Odissi music and dance.
During his stint as a music teacher, he taught in Kala Vikas Kendra at Cuttack and subsequently, moved to the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in Bhubaneswar where he was a faculty member until his retirement in 1999. He had prepared a curriculum for a seven-year course in Mardala music at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, leading to a postgraduate diploma.
He was an accompanying percussionist for Odissi dancers like Sanjukta Panigrahi, Priyambada Hejmadi, Sonal Mansingh, Aruna Mohanty and Sujata Mohapatra.
Members of the Odissi dance and music fraternity have condoled Guru Maharana's death. His mortal remains were kept in Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyala for people to pay their last respects. (ENDS)