Editor’s Note

Photo Courtesy: Susil Pani

Photo Courtesy: Susil Pani

Welcome Beloved Readers, to the August 2016 issue of Global Rasika, the online initiative launched in April 2014 to cultivate critical thinking and discourse across the Odissi community worldwide.

This issue, “Mediating Culture,” addresses the issue of the navigating different cultural contexts. The engagement with Odissi on all levels – for performers, teachers, students, and organisers, requires an element of ‘mediation’ in different socio-cultural settings. This process of negotiation varies according to the practitioner, environment, cultural context, etc. In this issue our writers explore the process of ‘mediating culture’ in various perspectives: the transitioning of Odissi pedagogy into an academic setting, to the bridging of Indian and Brazilian cultures through the medium of dance, as well as the experience of mediating “Odissi culture” abroad.

For this issue, we are privileged to interview the internationally acclaimed dancer, scholar, teacher, writer, and 2006 Padmashree Awardee Dr. Ileana Citaristi, whose love for Odissi and Odia culture propelled her to build a life and home for herself in Odisha. Dr. Citaristi shared with us her varied experiences and perspectives on how she navigated her life in two distinct socio-cultural paradigms.

We are also proud to launch our “Artist Initiative” an effort to support talented and dedicated Odissi dancers by providing a virtual platform for them to showcase their talent. We are delighted to feature Bhubaneswar-based Janhabi Behera for the launch of this initiative. Janhabi is a highly skilled and sensitive dancer who has performed extensively throughout India and abroad.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to our writers for this issue: Dr. Aadya Kaktakar, Silvana Duarte, and Saswat Joshi: Thank you for so generously sharing your extensive knowledge and experience in the field, and for the passion and energy with which you approached the topic. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Susil Pani, who so generously contributed his images for this issue – thank you for your enthusiasm and support to realize our vision.

Lastly we would like to thank our growing family of readers who continue to support and promote our modest efforts to foster discussion and critical thinking in the Odissi field. Please feel free to emails us with any comments, questions, or suggestions. We hope that you continue to read, share, and discuss the issues presented here so that we can continue to strengthen the Odissi ecosystem worldwide. Thank you and Happy Reading.

 

Sonali Mishra
Editor, Global Rasika
August, 2016
Detroit

 

Editor’s Note

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Welcome Dear Readers, to the Winter 2016 issue of Global Rasika, the online initiative launched in 2014 to foster critical thinking and dialogue across the Odissi community worldwide.

This issue of Global Rasika, “Beyond the Stage,” focuses on seemingly unrelated initiatives taking place to explore different facets of Odissi. More and more Odissi practitioners are challenging the status-quo across different dimensions, further enriching the art form in the process. Our contributors discuss in detail the specific initiatives that they have been pursuing: from re-thinking Odissi pedagogy, to developing multimedia resources, creating multi-dimensional organizations – all of which expand our engagement, understanding and accessibility to the art form.

We are also very fortunate to feature in this issue Dr. Rekha Tandon, who seamlessly transitions between her roles of dancer, researcher, writer, and choreographer. Dr. Tandon shares with us her own journey as an artist and scholar, and the urge for creative expression, which compelled her to redefine Odissi and expand its frontiers – resulting in an extensive body of work, informed by years of research and analysis and which offers a fresh perspective of the art.

We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to our writers: Dr. Rohini Dandavate, Dr. Elena Catalano, Nisha Somasundaram and Patricia Salgado – not only for contributing to this issue, but for the work they doing to enrich the experience of Odissi for the broader community. We would also like to extend our special thanks to Bhubaneswar-based photographer Debiprasad Sahoo for generously contributing his images and for helping communicate our vision more effectively.

As always, we request that you continue to read, share and discuss these issues to further enhance Global Rasika’s rasikas globally. In our quest to bring alternate voices which may otherwise get muffled in the Odissi ecosystem, (in the absence of an institutionalized platform), we encourage your contribution to Global Rasika. Please write to us if you have an idea or perspective that you would like to explore further and share with our readers.

Our sincerest gratitude to our readers around the world for actively supporting our efforts to create a vibrant and engaging Odissi community!

Sonali Mishra
Editor, Global Rasika
February 2016
Bhubaneswar

 

Editor’s Note

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

 

Welcome to our third issue of Global Rasika, an online initiative launched earlier this year to foster critical thinking and discourse across the Global Odissi Community.

This issue, “The Road Less Traveled,” examines the career path for those that have decided to pursue dance/Odissi dance as a profession. The path of any professional dancer is not an easy one, even the most successful of artists will attest to having had their fair share of struggles and uncertainties along the way. While professional classical dancers remain a miniscule proportion of society, the number of people taking up dance as a career (or quasi-career) has grown exponentially. In the process, by and large, the scope of options for the dance professional has expanded, and the interface between dancers and society has transformed substantially.

These changes have largely followed the natural currents, and betray the look of an untended garden of wildflowers. The current and most pressing need is not only to widen the horizon of the dancer, but also to establish stronger institutional interventions to support professional dancers. Odissi is further alienated because of its increasingly one-dimensional existence, thus facing a legitimate threat of failing its future generations of dancers by overlooking the scope of available opportunities.

In this issue, our contributors examine the various facets of pursuing classical dance as a profession: The financial difficulties of aspiring dance artists, turning one’s passion into a profession, the effectiveness of planning one’s career, and finally, one’s personal journey to follow her dream. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to chat with renowned Guru Sri Ratikant Mohapatra, who shared with us from his own experiences.

We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our contributors for this issue: Manishikha Baul, Ranjana Dave, Rathimalar Govindarajoo, and Srijat Mishra – Thank you for so generously and honestly sharing with us your own insights and personal experiences. Special thanks to Debiprasad Sahoo for providing the images for this issue.

It is our hope that our Global Odissi community will begin to think seriously about these issues and explore ways to improve the current system. Whether you are a student, arts-lover, writer, Guru, scholar, performer, or critic, please consider your role and responsibility for the greater good of Odissi. Only as a collective body can we create a robust ecosystem to support the efforts of dance professionals.

This issue is dedicated to all dancers that have chosen to bravely walk this path with great courage and sacrifice.

 

Sonali Mishra
Editor, Global Rasika
Bhubaneswar, Odisha
November, 2014.