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Eminent #Odissi #Dancer Ileana Citaristi, Saswat Joshi performed Odissi infront of the great Roman Ruin Collosseo #Odisha

Bhubaneswar: This is the ICCR tour by Ministry of external affair, Govt of India by Indian council for Cultural relation, Art Vision team is the Odissi dance institute by Padmashree Ileana citaristi, here the team is Traveliing the month of July to different places of Europe.

Artvision is presenting the Odissi dance in summer festival in Italy and France like La Versiliana dance festival, kannonika, Bergamo, Rome, and some places in France.. It happEned that there was a special shoot to promote Odissi culture Ileana Citaristi and Saswat Joshi , the famous male Odissi dancer presented Mokshya with shanti mantra omm omm omm infront of worlds wonder Collosseo , the great Roman ruin in Rome. Thousand and thousand audience were speechless after seeing this beautiful Odissi Performance by the team.. The bol kad taka gadi gana dha Mesmerised the audience.

The other team member are Minati Mohapatra, Upasana mohanty, Anaidita Parida, Mousumi Mohapatra.. All trained dancer from Art vision.


Photo session dancing in Imperial Old City of Rome and in front of Closseum, photo session in saree long the Tevere River and performance at Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini”: Odissi in Rome with Ileana Citaristi, Saswat Joshi and their young indian dancers.

Ileana Citaristi is an Italian-born Odissi and Chhau dancer, and dance instructor based in Bhubaneswar, India. She was awarded the 43rd National Film Awards for Best Choreography for Yugant in 1995 and became, in 2006, the first dancer of foreign origin to be conferred the Padma Shri for her contributions to Odissi.

She spent five years as an actress in traditional and experimental theatre in Italy before deciding to learn Kathakali.She went to Kerala, where she spent three rigorous months studying Kathakali before she went to Odisha on the advice of her Kathakali guru, Krishnan Namboodari. Since 1979, she has been living in Odisha. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy with a thesis on ‘Psychoanalysis and Eastern Mythology’. Citaristi studied Odissi under

Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and started her own school of dance in 1994. Citaristi is also an exponent of the Mayurbhanj Chhau, which she learnt under the tutelage of Guru Hari Nayak and holds the title of an acharya of Chhau from the Sangeet Mahavidyalya of Bhubaneswar. She founded the Art Vision Academi in 1996, which acts as a platform for sharing ideas between various artistic forms such as theatre, music, dance and painting. The Academi also conducts classes in Odissi and Chhau.

Citaristi is an “A” grade artis of Doordarshan. She was conferred the title of ´Leonide Massine for the art of dance’ in 1992. In 1996, she won the National Film Award for Best Choreography for her work in Aparna Sen’s Bengali film Yugant (1995). She is empanelled as ‘outstanding artist’ in ICCR.

She is also a recipient of the ´Raseshwar Award’ given by the Sur Singar Sansad, Mumbai. For her contributions to Odissi, she was conferred the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2006.The Italian government made her a member of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity in 2008.

Odissi (Odia: ଓଡିଶୀ Oḍiśī), also referred to as Orissi in older literature, is a major ancient Indian classical dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha – an eastern coastal state of India. Odissi, in its history, was performed predominantly by women, and expressed religious stories and spiritual ideas, particularly of Vaishnavism (Vishnu as Jagannath). Odissi performances have also expressed ideas of other traditions such as those related to Hindu gods Shiva and Surya, as well as Hindu goddesses (Shaktism).

The theoretical foundations of Odissi trace to the ancient Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, its existence in antiquity evidenced by the dance poses in the sculptures of Odissi Hindu temples, and archeological sites related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.The Odissi dance tradition declined during the Islamic rule era, and was suppressed under the British Rule.The suppression was protested by the Indians, followed by its revival, reconstruction and expansion since India gained independence from the colonial rule.

Odissi is traditionally a dance-drama genre of performance art, where the artist(s) and musicians play out a mythical story, a spiritual message or devotional poem from the Hindu texts, using symbolic costumes, body movement, abhinaya (expressions) and mudras(gestures and sign language) set out in ancient Sanskrit literature. Odissi is learnt and performed as a composite of basic dance motif called the Bhangas (symmetric body bends, stance). It involves lower (footwork), mid (torso) and upper (hand and head) as three sources of perfecting expression and audience engagement with geometric symmetry and rhythmic musical resonance. An Odissi performance repertoire includes invocation, nritta (pure dance), nritya (expressive dance), natya (dance drama) and moksha (dance climax connoting freedom of the soul and spiritual release).

Traditional Odissi exists in two major styles, the first perfected by women and focussed on solemn, spiritual temple dance (maharis); the second perfected by boys dressed as girls (gotipuas which diversified to include athletic and acrobatic moves, and were performed from festive occasions in temples to general folksy entertainment. Modern Odissi productions by Indian artists have presented a diverse range of experimental ideas, culture fusion, themes and plays.

The Odissi tradition existed in three schools: Mahari, Nartaki, and Gotipua:

Maharis were Oriya devadasis or temple girls, their name deriving from Maha (great) and Nari (girl), or Mahri (chosen) particularly those at the temple of Jagganath at Puri. Early Maharis performed Nritta (pure dance) and Abhinaya (interpretation of poetry) dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as Puranic mythologies and Vedic legends. Later, Maharis especially performed dance sequences based on the lyrics of Jayadev’s Gita Govinda. This style is more sensuous and closer to the classical Sanskrit texts on dance, music and performance arts.
Gotipuas were boys dressed up as girls and taught the dance by the Maharis. This style included martial arts, athletics and acrobatics. Gotipuas danced to these compositions outside the temples and fairgrounds as folksy entertainment.

Nartaki dance took place in the royal courts, where it was prevalent before the British period. src Stefano Romano