by Sarita Mishra
Dance has a profound connection with the earth, so does a dancer with Nature.
As a dancer, soaking my body with sunlight gives me energy to dance and breathing fresh air fills me with newness every day. In fact, nature is the true mentor of a dancer in the process of becoming naturally expressive. Simply being expressive, is mostly the result of a dancer or choreographer’s keen observation of nature. Even while depicting mythological and romantic stories, nature becomes an inevitable element.While expressing BHAVAS (moods) of a NAYIKA (woman), nature is of utmost importance. Emotions like SHINGARA (love) is also portrayed through nature.
I personally connect the phases of a dancer’s life with the cycle of rain.
A beginner is a like cute little rain drop.
A trained dancer can be compared to a river that flows on and on, with the hope of some unique experiences.
An intermediate student as a stream, filled with exuberance and ebullience.
A seasoned artiste is as intense and calm as the ocean, with immense stability, depth of knowledge and fine artistry.
Students especially children who learn Odissi dance, are taught to connect, observe and appreciate nature from the beginning of their formal training. Their love for nature grows deeper along with the training and that helps them to strike a beautiful balance in life.
Sarita, a dedicated practioner of the Odissi art form, has to her credit over 1600 stage shows, both in the national and international arenas. She has a large number of students from around the world and she also works with government schools in rural India to promote this art form.