Guru Deba Prasad was born in 1932
in Keul Chabi Sua village near Jhankada in District
Cuttack. His father Durga Charan Das was a
police inspector. He lost his mother Indramani
Devi at the age of one year.
He learnt Chhanda,
Chaoupadi, Keshaba Koili, Kantakoili, Manobodha
Chautisa etc. from his grand father Bauri Bandhu
Das, a gumastha by profession who was also a
violin player as well as a music director of a Natua Troupe at Keul.
Guru Debaprasad went
to Puri and stayed with his uncle for continuing
study. But he was not interested in his studies
and was drawn more to Dance and Music, Drama,
Jatra, Painting etc. for which he was punished
many times but nothing cooled his passion for music and dance.
He joined Gutipua troupe of Nrutyaguru Mohan
Charan Mohapatra of the Pathara Akhoda. He also
went to Ganjam and learnt terracotta
painting from Prahallad Patel. In 1944 he was
employed as an actor in New Theatres and was
there until 1949.
He took female roles as well as those of a
comedian. He joined Annapurna Theatre as a
dancer and comedian where he got an opportunity
to learn various classical and folk dances from
Guru Kumar Dayal Sharan of Madras.
teaching Gotipua dance to eager students. Guru
Deba Prasad was the first local man to teach
Odissi Dance to a non-Oriya dancers; the famous Bharatnatyam Dancer Indrani
Rehman was his shishya. He
joined Utkal Sangeet Mohavidyalay in
1964 as an Odissi dance lecturer.
He received the Sangcet Natak Akademi award in
1977 and an award from World Development
Corporation in 1983. He also received a senior
fellowship from the Department of Culture,
Government of India for research on Dance as
ritual in Jagannath - Seva and Akhada sampradya.
Guru Deba Prasad Das passed away before his time
at the age of 54 on 16th July 1986.