Guwahati, Aug 5: Renowned exponent of Sattriya and Odissi dance forms, Smt. Garima Hazarika, passed away in Guwahati on Friday. The dancer breathed her last at the age of 83. Hazarika is considered as one of the most important figures of the Sattriya dance forms as she along with Pt. Maheshwar Neog promoted the dance form on the world map. She is also credited for changing the costume of Sattriya dance, using paat and buta designs. She was an exceptional dancer of her time, and through her performances she always portrayed meaningful social messages that were relevant for the society. Besides being an accomplished dancer, she was also into painting, set designing, and choreography.
Hazarika was born on April 27, 1939, to Lokbandhu Dr Bhubaneshwar Barua and Indraprabha Barua in Guwahati. She started taking dance lessons at a young age and soon became an expert in both Kathak and Sattriya dance forms. Apart from this, Hazarika was also drawn towards the classical dance form of Odissi, as she found similarities between Odissi and Sattriya when she joined the Delhi School of Arts in 1962.
In 1982, Garima Hazarika founded the Mitali Kala Kendra in Assam under the guidance of Odissi Guru Muralidhar Majhi of Rabindra Bharati University. The dancer also made significant contributions towards Assamese cinema. She had previously worked as a dance director in about 16 Assamese films. She debuted with "Srimoti Mohimamoyi" by Pulok Gogoi.
Due to her notable work, Hazarika received many awards and accolades during her lifetime. She won the Assam Silpi Divas Award in 1976 and the Assam Natya Sanmilan Award in 1996. The dancer was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006 as well as the Assam Nritya Samiti Award in 1996-97.