Finding Lila: Tales of Odissi in the 21st Century

by Nisha Somasundaram 

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Photo Courtesy: Debiprasad Sahoo

Not long ago I attended a seminar on the subject of astronomy and physics written in verse at the university I currently attend. The presenter spoke of how mathematicians of a bygone era in India aspired to write about physics in poetic form in a way that was as beautiful and sophisticated as the subject matter itself. In many ways, this is an idea that underpinned the creation of Finding Lila, a multi-media initiative and website dedicated to exploring Odissi from the viewpoint of UK-based practitioners: [Read more…]

E-Learning from E-Gurus: The Tradition-Technology Tension in Odissi Pedagogy

Dr. Shreelina Ghosh

hand-mudra-3

This article attempts to explore the duality of technology-enhanced teaching and traditional teaching of dance in digital spaces. Classical dances are set on a grammar constructed by a series of myths regarding this ancient practice that were formulated and transmitted through the generations orally. Divinity associated with classical dance inspires the quest for pristine perfection and rooted-ness to age-old tradition. This is the concept of performance that I have grown up with. Coming to know about and experiencing performance in a virtual space made me re-think some of the vital elements in my definition and understanding of performance. Digital technology has had a profound influence on the foundational notions of this art. It is necessary to re-evaluate the ideas associated with traditional pedagogy in a continuously ‘virtualizing’ performance space.

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