Guru Gangadhar Pradhan - one of the foremost exponents of Odissi Dance - is one of the Founders of Orissa Dance Academy. At the tender age of six, he received his training as Gotipua Dancer. After completing his Natya Acharya in Odissi from Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya under able guidance of Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Dr. Minati Mishra & Guru Deb Prasad Das, he received intensive training from Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra. Apart from mastering the delicate nuances and the subtleties of Odissi, he is an excellent Mardala player. A recipient of the State Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1993, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998 and the Padmashree award from President of India in 2008.
Guru Gangadhar is the first person in the field of Orissan art to be bestowed with the prestigious assignment of teaching at the famed Cornell University(USA) as a visiting faculty. He has also served as the President of Orissa State Sangeet Natak Akademi for a tenure of one year (2006-07).To promote, preserve and project the classical tradition and culture, Guru Gangadhar is at helm of Konark Dance & Music Festival, Dhauli Mahotsav, Kalinga Kala Utsav and Odissi Sandhya organized every year in Orissa. He was awarded the prestigious Padmashree award in the year 2007 by His Excellency, the President of India, Honorary D. Lit. from Utkal University of Culture. He breathed his last on 10th October, 2010 due to a massive brain stroke.