The Dance of Creativity

by Merle O’Brien

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo


As the fields of art and science move to a common space in the 21st century, creativity is taking centrestage in all fields of human endeavor, driving a new form of economy and redefining itself from an art into a lifescience.

Working as a Futurist at the forefront of creativity, design and front end innovation – while also being an Odissi danseuse, training in one of the world’s oldest forms of codified creativity, I see that the future of creativity looks remarkably similar to its most ancient past. If this holds true, Odissi may find itself becoming increasingly relevant as an educational technology for neuro-muscular entrainment to unlock human creative potential.

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Finding Meaning in Odissi Through Dislocation: One Perspective of a Diaspora Dancer

by Nabanita Pal

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo


(i) Odissi is Not a Commodity
Odissi in the United States (U.S.) was first nurtured in people’s homes, in basements and garages converted into makeshift dance studios. Before there were performances in professional theaters, group productions, and Mancha Praveshes, there were small classes that started through word of mouth. I can delineate much of my childhood and adolescence by parts of the Odissi repertoire. First grade was Mangalacharan. Second grade was Stayi. Third Grade was Batu, and so on and so forth. Just as I grew up with this art form, it too grew with the tireless efforts of teachers and promoters who built a base of future Odissi dancers, one student at a time. [Read more…]

From Russia With Love: Taking Odissi Abroad

by Taiisia Shpulnikova

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Modern Odissi, despite being a fairly young dance form, has experienced worldwide popularity in a relatively short period of time. Established dance schools in Bhubaneswar attract new students from around the world every year. The number of regular returning students is growing exponentially. A significant proportion of these regular students come from Russia. As an Odissi dancer based in Moscow, I feel there is much to be shared from our collective experiences as a community of Odissi dancers, teachers and ultimately, promoters of the style abroad. [Read more…]

Odissi Questions an Odia Heart…

by Sanatani Rombola

Painting of Lord Jagannath displaying his eye

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

My name is Sanatani Devi Dasi Rombola. Devi Dasi, my middle name, was given to me at birth. I am a strong believer in God, and I give Him a name and a form. I believe in His perfect plan of life: that each of us deserves to grow and complete our unfinished business, to develop true love for Him and to meet other beings with whom we share our karmas with. This is the only way I can explain how I have been living my life all these years. One coincidence after another has led me to what I believe is my true identity: my love for God and for the country that, at least for me, holds the most convincing culture: India. [Read more…]

Madhusmita on Odissi: Past, Present & Future

Photo of Dimple Apa

Photo Courtesy: TBA

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to sit down with Smt. Madhusmita Mohanty, recipient of the 2014 Mahari Award by the Guru Pankaj Charan Das Odissi Research Foundation. Nurtured in an artistic environment, Madhusmita was groomed as a soloist under Gurus Sri Gangadhar Pradhan, Smt. Aruna Mohanty, and Sri Bichitrananda Swain. She has performed widely in India and abroad as a soloist and as part of the Orissa Dance Academy Repertory group. For her commitment and excellence in dance, Madhusmita has also been awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar and the Padmashree Sanjukta Panigrahi Pratibha Samman. Having been involved in dance from an early age, Smt. Madhusmita Mohanty shares her thoughts on Odissi, drawing from her personal experience. [Read more…]