Sanjukta Panigrahi (24 August 1944 to 24 June 1997) was a brilliant dancer of India, who was the foremost exponent of Indian classical dance, Odissi. Sanjukta was the first Oriya girl to embrace this ancient classical dance at an early age and ensure its grand revival. Her commitment and diligence is proved by her these words- :I had two gurus, each with contradicting views. Rukmini Devi Arundale stressed technique while Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra insisted upon forgetting technique. Much later I realized that with dedication and hard work, technique would follow automatically.” At the initiative of her mother, she started to learn dance from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra at age 4. She was assessed to be the best child artist by the Bisuba Milan consecutively for three years during 1950-53. She bagged the first prize in International Children’s Film Festival in 1952. Encouraged by her success, her parents decided to send her for higher dance training to Kalakshetra at Chennai. There she continued her lessons under the guidance of Rukmini Devi Arundale. Apart from presenting Odissi performances in different parts of India, Sanjukta Panigrahi has been part of Indian Government’s cultural delegations to different countries, including the USA and the Philippines (1969), United Kingdom (1983), Israel and Delphi International Festival in Greece (1989). She has also performed in France for eleven weeks, and participated there in the International Music Festival at Paris. In recognition of her contribution to dancing and associated activities, she was honoured with one of India's highest civilian awards the, Padma Shri (1975). She is also the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976. Her pioneering efforts brought forth almost the forgotten Odissi style of dancing to an important position in the dance repertory of India. For four decades, she remained an undisputed leading dancer of Odissi. She died of cancer at age 58, on 24 June 1997. Even up to her last years, and while battling death, she exuded a grace far beyond her years. To honour her, a film has been made posthumously named “Encounter With the Gods: Orissi Dance With Sanjukta Panigrahi” in 1999.