You’re always returning to the place that you’re going to

Dushasan Sahoo

“My uncle, Guru Birabara Sahoo was a legendary gotipua guru & used to run a school.By the time I wanted to learn gotipua, the school shut. I was only 7 when I started learning gotipua under one of my uncle’s students, Guru Lingraj Barik. I performed gotipua extensively. I gave my all to dancing for 3 years but soon my dance journey stopped after my father passed away. I had to cut all my hair because of which gotipua came to a stop. At a very young age huge responsibilities came over my brothers and me as we had to earn the bread. We had to compromise on education and until I was in my late teens dance never came by.

Once I was in my village, Indolakusiari, the same village from where Guru Bichitrananda Swain is from. I had heard about him. Infact Guruji's brother, Late Sri Satchidananda Swain had forced me to join odissi. One day near a sacred place in my village, I saw guruji and touched his feet. He himself asked me if I danced. And then he asked me to come to see the dancers in his institute. In next two days I was at Rudrakshya foundation, with minimum necessities packed in a bag. I am grateful to Guruji for giving me this life after that day.

My focus has been to learn to the maximum limits and be in this discipline. The best part of a gurukul system is that you get to know about your qualities and your areas of improvement whose verdict is the final and the best for us. Today I don’t have to do part time jobs outside and can sustain myself by imparting my knowledge to my students. I see teaching also as enjoyable as performing. There is no bigger joy than seeing a child with family’s support, blooming into the world of dance to carry the legacy ahead. I don’t want odissi to be confined in books and want to preach it to the commonest of the people. Thus, on weekends when I have time away from all responsibilities I take some time off to go to the small district of Keonjhar in Orissa.

When I teach Odissi, I become all the more aware of imparting it in the purest form and I feel that it's my duty!"

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published