Anita Babu
. India . joined August, 2021

Anita Babu


Smt. Anita Babu is a famous Odissi dancer based in New Delhi with over 3 decades of dancing and more than 15 years of teaching and choreographing Odissi at her school Odissi Natya Sala in New Delhi. She has learnt Odissi from the famous doyen of Odissi Padmashree Late Gangadhar Pradhan. She is a regular performer at various premier and prestigious festivals across the country as well as outside India. Some of her notable recent performances have been at the FREEDOM@70 celebration of Govt. of India in Africa, International Yoga festival 2015 & 2017, Rishikesh International Film Festival 2017, International Odissi festival 2014, Rukmini Devi Arundale dance festival in March 2014 in Kolkata, IITF 2013, the Shrishti Dance festival in Bangalore in May 2013, Karur Natyanjali in December 2012, Indian classical dance festival at the national dance festival of Kala Academy, Goa in March 2012, St. Louis, USA in April 2012, Bali Spirit Festival 2011, CWG 2010 and many more. Her disciples have also performed at the Guniess Book of World Record performance of 500 Odissi dancers in December 2012 in Bhubaneswar. Anita Babu is also an empanelled artist of ICCR and had toured US of A for 3 months in 2003 under the aegis of ICCR. Both Anita and her students have won accolades wherever they have performed across the length and breadth of India and overseas as well. Anita is a recipient of the REX KARMAVEER GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP (Bronze Chakra in 2015 and Silver Chakra in 2016), the WOMEN LEADERSHIP ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ARTS & CULTURE from the World Women Leadership Congress in 2016 and the FEMINA WOMEN SUPER ACHIEVERS AWARD in 2017. 

In her constant endeavour to make classical dance popular among the youth, she has been creating new productions with themes which today’s generation can relate to Water Conservation (Nadi Narayani), Harnessing of Solar Power (Surya Trishna) and Human Trafficking (Agnikanya) and many more which have been widely appreciated by critics, connoisseurs and novices. The latest project she is working on the taboo around women menstruation. It is her sheer passion for Odissi and her desire to contribute to the society at large which gives her the motivation to choose such topics which highlight issues and concerns of today’s society.

Currently apart from performing and teaching regularly, she is working on a plan to take classical dance to unconventional platforms closer to the masses.

View Details

    • City :
    • Delhi

    • State :
    • Delhi

    • Category :
    • Art & Culture

    • Email ID:

    • Profession:
    • Classical Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer

    • Education
    • Masters in Anthropology

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Project Details

 For me my own choreographies are projects........MY CREATIONS


1. AGNI KANYA - We Will Awaken - This is a dance narrative, reflecting the life and struggle of millions Indian women who fight against a sea of social oppression. The dance depicts the struggle of the protagonist to achieve her dreams and aspirations despite all hindrances. Her eyes are full of dreams, she is determined to fly high in life, she is here on this earth to make a change. She is struggling to fulfill her dream, there are thorns and traps, there are hindrances and difficulties, and there she falls in the trap of lies and deceit. But, she is determined to fight back and it inspires the community at large to hold her hand. The community empowers itself to stand up against this malaise of human trafficking. Each hand becomes a part of Shakti and ultimately the community takes the moral responsibility of protecting the victim and stopping the spread of this malaise.


2. SOORYA TRISHNA - Soorya Trishna or the thirst for Sun is a composition based on the idea of solar system. The Sun, source of the creation and all creative energy is worshipped in India as the king of planets. He is the cause of creation, sustainence and ultimate destruction. It was from the primordial darkness that the creation blooms out like sun rays. The vedic god Soorya or Savita is implored to remove evil dreams and to make men sinless. Savita drives away evil spirits and sorcerers. He observes fixed laws. The waters and the wind are subject to his ordinance. He leads the waters and by his propulsion they flow broadly. In the composition we show the cosmic spirit from its primordial darkness. From there the creation comes out slowly and grew up the cosmic spirit of creativity. It also combines the idea of modern age pollution which may lead the humanity to an ultimate destruction or Pralaya. The script is basically an union of Vedic and Desi idea of solar spirituality.


3. NADI NARAYANI - All the water streams are givers of life and nectar to human being, that’s why they need to be protected and revered. Vedas, the most ancient compilation of wisdom describe Devas or Gods as the protector of rivers. There are mentions of events where rivers are stolen by evil forces and Indra, the king of Devas, brings back the streams by using Vajra or thunder. From the dawn of Indian civilization, river is worshipped as mother and life giver. In Vedas, the Sapta-Sindhu region was bounded by Saraswati in the east, by the Sindhu in the west and the five in between were Satudru, Vipasa, Asikni, Parusni and Vitasta. And that was the base of our historical existence. In every Hindu ritual, the priest and chief of the house invite all rivers to be present in a symbolic water pot to bless and bestow wellness. Taking note of cultural and spiritual importance of water bodies, it is expected that we must protect, preserve and worship our sacred streams. Unfortunately that is not the reality. Many of our sacred rivers and water bodies are being polluted and purest of pure rivers like Ganga and Yamuna are becoming hazardous streams for humanity. Development and modernity make us blind and it snatches away our spiritual notion of rivers.

Nadi Narayani, an Odissi based dance drama portrays the journey of a river, so to say all water bodies as Vedic goddesses. There are ritualistic references and also mention of modern day’s devastation. A clear message to protect water as prime source of life is communicated aesthetically.



1. REX Karamveer Global Fellow (RKGF) - Bronze 2015,

2. REX Karamveer Global Fellow (RKGF) - Silver Chakra 2016

3. Women Leadership Achievement Award - 2016

4. FEMINA Women Super Achievers Award - 2017



1. Disciple of Padmashree Late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan since 1980;

2. Alumni of Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar (founded by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan);

3. Also guided regularly by senior disciples of Guruji like Nandita Patnaik, Aruna Mohanty and Bichitrananda Swain;

4. Attended various workshops of Odissi doyens like Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and Smt. Kumkum Mohanty;



1. Founded Odissi Natya Sala in New Delhi and 1999 (registered in 2004 under the societies regn Act; Regn No. S/51235/2004 dated 30th December 2004)

2. Odissi Natya Sala has over 60 students;

3. Conducted summer workshops in various schools from time to time and also twice for Sahitya Kala Academy for contemporary dance;

4. Assisted my Guru Gangadhar Pradhan at various lec-dems for SPIC-MACAY;

5. Conducted lec-dems and workshops for IRCEN;

6. Conducted workshop/classes in Bali, Indonesia for 6 weeks in 2011;

7. Choreographed a dance drama for Vivekananda College in 2001; 


Festivals organized by Anita Babu (in reverse order)

1. Nritya Milan (the 3rd edition) – a 2 day festival of group choreographies.

2. Nritya Milan (the 2nd edition) – “continuing the Guru-shishya parampara”. A 2 day Indian classical dance festival of duets and group performances by the new generation

Guru-shishya combines on 29th & 30th May 2014, at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

3. Nritiya Milan – November 2012. This was a 2 day classical dance festival of young dancers in which all Indian classical dance forms (except Kathakali) was showcased.

4. Purusha Suktam – May 2010. A 2 day festival of Odissi dance with emphasis on the male dancers.



• Doordarshan artiste since 1991.

• Empanelled in ICCR’s Reference Panel of Artistes since 1994

• Empanelled by Ministry of Culture, Government of India for Festivals of India abroad

• ODISSI NATYA SALA is empanelled in ICCR as an institute for learning Odissi for foreign students

• Empanelled as a consultant for ODISSI dance in Times of India (under the program Newspaper in Education) for conducting workshops in various schools.

• Conducted various workshops for a workshop on Odissi dance along with Gurushree Gangadhar Pradhan for SPIC-MACAY.

• Established an Odissi dance school in New Delhi in 1997 by the name ‘ODISSI NATYA SALA’ with over 50 students.

• Organised a Festival of Orissa at NOIDA in September 2000 showcasing Oriya music, dance and cuisine.

• Empanelled with "India International Rural Cultural Centre (IRCEN)" for lecture/demonstrations at various schools, colleges, etc. for increasing awareness for Indian culture.

• Anita Babu has also been a judge at numerous dance and cultural festivals and has also been one of the judges at Junior Scholarship selection by Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), an autonomous body under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India

• Odissi Natya Sala currently receives salary grant and cultural function grants from Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India


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