Upasana - Odissi Presentation
On Nov. 18th Upasana will stage its first show at Phillips Auditorium, Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge. It will be the beginning of Upasana’s prayerful journey in presenting the lyrical and poetic style of Odissi. Upasana is the coming together of seven dedicated dancers, with the goal of promoting the lesser known style of Odissi dance, under the direction of Mouli Pal.
Odissi is an ancient, breathtakingly beautiful form of Indian dance, originally performed in temples as a worship ritual. Highly stylized in nature, it utilizes energetic footwork with graceful postures and movements to create an illusion of sculpture coming to life. Handed down from teacher to disciple for thousands of years, Odissi emphasizes, and in fact, centers on spirituality and devotion.
Upasana’s lead dancer and creative director Mouli Pal is a disciple of the legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. A regular performer of the dance style, she has participated in many festivals and conferences in India as well as in the U.S. where she has been residing since 2000. Her intensive classes are held in her small studio at Wilmington Massachusetts, where she currently works on implementing her Guruji's vision of spreading the art in its purest form to those who are far from India.
In United States Mouli has performed for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Yale University, Prabashi of New England, Bengali Cultural Conference 2001, Vrindavan Preservation Society, Wheaton College, ISKCON and various other cultural events. Mouli was felicitated by the Orissa Association of New England in 2001 for her outstanding performance and dedication to the dance form.
The recital will include outstanding choreographies of the late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, presented in the traditional Odissi repertory of Mangalacharan, Batu, Pallavi, Abhinaya and Mokshya. These compositions imbibe in them a deep sprit of devotion along with the unique sensual beauty of the Odissi style.
The event is dedicated as a tribute to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra whose life has been synonymous with the growth and proliferation of Odissi dance. A legend of the Indian performing arts world, he had been awarded the highest national honors from the Government of India, including the Padma Vibhusan in 2000, the Padmabhusan in 1989, the Padmashree in 1972, and the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1966. A prolific choreographer, his work was inspired by ancient temple architecture and palm leaf painting (pata-paintings), which are a visual delight and leave an indelible impression in the minds of the audience.
The evening will also feature an audio-visual presentation on Guru Kelucharan’s life by Dr. Vanita Sashtri, Director Meru Education Foundation, also an accomplished Odissi dancer. Other performers in the show are matured dancers who have been trained intensively for numerous years under various Gurus. This event is open to the public but RSVP is required, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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