BHUBANESWAR: Dance and music are integral parts of life and spirituality, said Odissi dancers at an international seminar conducted by the faculty of performing arts of Sri Sri University on Monday. They gave emphasis on developing better research facilities on Odissi dance in the city.
Speaking on dance as carrier of culture, Odissi guru and dancer Chitta Ranjan Acharya said, "In India, very few people are able to make dance their profession. Even if you are expert in your subject it is difficult to earn a lively hood out of cultural activites. Dance should be taken as equivalent to sports and promoted equally. Dance should be introduced in every school and college as an optional subject."
An immaculate Odissi performance by Mithilesh Patnaik, a mentally challenged youth, and Shakti Swarupa, a physically challenged person, left the audience spellbound.
Speaking on the occasion, danseuse and Odissi guru Ileana Citaristi threw light on the history and evolution of Odissi dance. She highlighted the mythological background, the training of girls and rituals conducted in Jagannath temple and the decline of the service. "The dance of the Devadasi (servants of God) who served in the temples of Odisha, till the beginning of the last century, was the forerunner of the style of dance today known as Odissi," she said. She also shared her individual experience on what is the connection between dance and spirituality. Odissi Guru and dancer Aruna Mohanty said music, dance and spirituality are interrelated. She gave examples from scripture and literature to support her views.
"The seminar enriched my knowledge in Odissi and provided a unique opportunity to listen to some contemporary Odissi exponents," Sinmar, a student of performing art from Brazil, said.
On this occasion, the second batch of MBA students were also welcomed to the university with a message from Sri Ravi Shankar.
Rashmi Rekha Das, head of the department of performing art, said, "The main objective of the seminar was to provide a complete knowledge of life and spirituality through dance and music."
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Dance and music integral part of life: Odissi dancers