A remarkable performer, Pratibha jena Singh is known for her expertise in expressing an expansive range of emotions. Being Guru Surendra Nath Jena’s eldest daughter, Pratibha began her training at an early age under her father’s avid guidance. From here she went on to imbibe the qualities of his Odissi style and has become its most accomplished exponent. Pratibha is also a teacher and an accomplished choreographer. Training in pakhavaj under Guru Praful Kumar Mangaharaj has added to her in-depth knowledge of the arts.
To acknowledge her dexterity, she has been awarded ‘Shringhari Shyamsunder Award’ for Odissi in 1995 and is also the recipient of a scholarship from the Government of India for Indian Classical Dance under the Cultural Talent Search Scheme from 1977 to 1984. She has also received a scholarship from Triveni Kala Sangam for the years 2000-2001. ICCR and Doordarshan Kendra have empanelled her. She was also actively involved in a film project which documents the Odissi style of Guru Surendranath Jena. It was produced by the AHRC Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance Performances, Roehampton University, 2005-2006
Pratibha is frequently invited to Russia, where she has a group of dedicated followers. She has conducted numerous dance education programs for Sangeet Natak Akademi and Spic Macay. She is currently teaching at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, with a view to continue the journey her father embarked on.
Guru Surendra Nath Jena is considered a rebel in the world of Odissi for creating his unique style of this dance form. He developed this style after intense research into the temples and temple reliefs in Orissa, various manuscripts and treatises on Indian arts as well as the lifestyle of Orissan people. He believed that the artists/sculptors who had sculpted the temple reliefs were spiritually gifted and highly accomplished dancers themselves and knew the essence of dance as well as its connection with all other artforms. Guru Surendra Nath Jena's Odissi is not only a form of dance but avenues for worship and self-realisation. It was not designed to please the eye or the senses but to promote spiritual ascendancy through dance, particularly by combining the two foundations of Indian philosophy - tantra and yoga. Therefore, the Jena style of Odissi defies many conventions associated with the world of arts and that is what makes it so compelling.
Pratibha Jena has a radiant, joyous stage personality. She undertakes basic positions with clarity and is neat in her rendition….her dance has an openness which helps her flower on the stage.
Ashish Khokar, Delhi Times, Times of India
The condition of the spirit is in the foundation of the dance and when I saw Pratibha’s dance I understood that this is not only the dance but the inspiration of the communication with the dearest Lord.
Kievski Telegraph Hari Krishna Herald
…emotions conveyed with full intensity and pangs of passion through her sinuous body which moved around with perfect grace and charm. Her tribhanga stances are simply marvelous.
Christopher David (Dainik Bhaskar Bhopal ’88)
Guru Surendra Nath Jena died on 8 October 2007 in New Delhi. He is survived by his wife, Kumudini Jena, his son, Nirmal and daughters, Pratibha, Rekha and Rama. Guruji was based in Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, for many years, where, with the support of Triveni's founder Mrs Sridharani, he carved his unique style and repertoire of Odissi. Pratibha Jena continues to take Guruji's classes at Triveni.
Further details on Pratibha Jena as well as comprehensive information on the Jena style of Odissi can be found here. Additional information on Nirmal Jena and his Odissi Dance Company, based in Sydney, Australia, can be found here. Pratibha Jena Singh’s direct email address is email@example.com
Nirmal and Pratibha are committed to promoting their father's legacy and their family's tradition of Odissi through a world tour. Therefore, this is a request to all aficionados of Odissi, in every corner of the world, including members of odissi.blogspot, to invite Nirmal and Pratibha to share their unique style through performances, workshops and dance education programs. In the first instance please email Chitrita Mukerjee at the Odissi Dance Company to arrange tours/programs by Nirmal and Pratibha: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not dance for the audience and I do not dance for recognition. I dance for my soul and self-realisation. Guru Surendra Nath Jena following the Sangeet Natak Akademi award presentation to him by the President of India, 2006