Guru Sri Ratikant Mohapatra: Finding Your Path, and Finding the Pearl

Photo Credit: Arabinda Mahapatra

Photo Credit: Arabinda Mahapatra

Guru Sri Ratikant Mohapatra, the only son of Odissi legend Guru Sri Kelucharan Mohapatra and Smt. Laxmipriya Mohapatra, has carved a niche for himself as one of Odissi’s leading Gurus, choreographers, percussionists, and organizers. He is currently the director of Srjan [Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Nrityabasa] in Bhubaneswar, and continues to travel throughout the world to impart training in Odissi. He is the key advisor to San Francisco-based Guru Shradda, and has lent his knowledge and expertise to dance practitioners throughout the world. Some of his awards include: “Pride of India 2004,” “Sanjukta Panigrahi Samman 2005,” and “Nrutya Bhushan,” by the International Dance & Theatre Festival 2005. In 2006, he choreographed and directed an Odissi presentation at Kalinga Stadium featuring 550 Odissi dancers from around the world, which was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Today he shares with Global Rasika his life experiences with Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, finding his own path as an artist, and the current trends in Odissi. [Read more…]

Dancing to Nowhere: Young, Beautiful, and Broke?

by Ranjana Dave
[Originally Published in The Asian Age (http://archive.asianage.com) – May 2011]

dancer-full-flute

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Some young classical dancers might be forgiven for thinking that an arangetram or debut marks the end of their dance careers. An arangetram only heralds the start of a long, and sometimes, futile struggle to be known.

People often talk of dance as spiritual, and argue that dancers must treat their art as “sacred” and not trivialize it by bringing money into the equation. If, one sunny morning, they are told that they must work without expecting returns, for the spiritual good of society, can they be expected to respond with similar equanimity? [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…]