CREATIVITY IN SIMPLICITY
“Unlike most of the talented and senior dancers around me, I started odissi only when I was in my mid twenties. Neither was I born with a “natural” talent nor was I surrounded by any kind of artistic environment despite being in Bhubaneswar. But yes, I have had my artistic sense and love and eye for creativity since my childhood. I was extremely attracted to classical music and dance forms but I had no idea about them in depth. But when I got acquainted with Odissi, I found spirituality and beauty at the same place. Although I was extremely good in studies, I always used to be inclined towards making my own world full of creativity, through sketching, noticing makeup etc. Overtime I've realised, Art can neither be forced or bought.
Despite my family not agreeing to my decision for Odissi, My Guru has instilled great confidence in me due to which I have been able to scale so much in such less time. But this also has a drawback in terms of knowing the theory, etc especially considering that I started late. Despite getting so many opportunities worldwide, I am a constant learner and still feel no hesitation to learn the small items, theory etc time to time.
I had never done small roles on stage before, Thus straightaway getting a big stage was more than difficult for me to get accustomed to. Although I feel the pressure being surrounded by such senior dancers who have danced since they were teenagers, I believe in just learning from everyone around me all the time without harming my individual identity.
My Aim in this field is now to make Odissi more noticeable within my state where sadly very few people know about Odissi dance, whereas worldwide it's gaining so much appreciation. Another battle we all have to fight is the stereotype regarding odissi which makes people think that this is not at all for boys. I am eternally grateful to my guru, Guru Shri Bichitranandan Swain in playing this huge part in the Odissi industry to define the Purush- Ang of Odissi. I thus have no shame or fear being an Odissi dancer, or walking back home back with my makeup on.”
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