Bichitrananda Swain staged at Festival International, December 2014
I studied Odissi a month and a half to his home. Because he is the master of my guru: Lingaraj Pradhan and Sanjukta Dutta. Bichitrananda Swain, said Sir Bichi, or guruji, he founded The Roudraksha Foundation, studied with the most famous gurus dell'odissi, choreographed wonderful pieces, brought the Odissi in the world in international tours, taught to children and adults. Generous, curious, with the fragility of their own genes. Extraordinary interpreter, Living Legend dell'odissi, just over 50 years, with a charge of extraordinary humanity and a vision of dance untraditional and evolving. Steps that seem to come from Béjart and take the forms of temple sculptures of Konark and Bhubaneswar.
I met him one morning at school, thus skipping practice. We terrace, a slight wind and a bit 'of sun. The answers are disarming and deep. Torn between a desire for truth and having to be fading quickly to make room for a giant heart dance on a lake of poignant melancholy. We drink tea sweet and spicy.
What is the Odissi for her?
"I was born for the Odissi. I'm in love with the beauty dell'odissi. The best thing in the world."
His life is Odissi. What is the most important thing to teach, PERFORM, study, and choreography?
In a choreographed what matters most?
"I give a lot of importance to the subject, then the music, then the dance space. The relationship with space is crucial."
What do you feel when you dance?
"I am very nervous. In fact, they are very lazy. I do not do enough exercise. I'd rather teach you to dance."
"My students are better than me because they want to fix the dancers from head to toe. I teach very simply. I teach beginners slowly because there are too many things to learn: head, feet, torso. I start from the feet. Everyone takes his own way. "
How difficult is it to adapt the dance to different audiences: children, sir?
"No, it is not difficult. There are people with it or not. The lesson is the same for everyone. Many foreigners are very good. They are involved in culture, music, and literature. Many students Oriya are inattentive and not motivated. If you want to make it your profession, it's good that you come here once a year but you have to practice every day. "
Teach foreigners are difficult?
"A challenge. Even if we do not understand the language, we understand the emotions." Skip the dog, Sayoni, a female, that all the boy’s spoil, except to have sudden outbursts of cruelty against him, as with the cat David. "As with her when she is shy you understand immediately. Body language is critical, not only the expression of the face. With words, we can say different things from what we think. If I invite you to dinner you can say" delicious "but I understand if you do not like the food.”
What is the most important thing in the relationship with students?
"The student must have faith in the guru. And the guru in the student. This is the most important thing. So both are a happy and successful lessons.
There are many children who do not have money but they have the talent and I teach them for free. The school would close if they did not take money from anyone. "
Bichi Sir Opsite the Gotipua, kids-acrobats of the villages that 17 years are thrown out of their schools because his back starts to be more flexible as before and is doing it as children.
"Why should I not teach a person who loves this dance? I do not want to kill anyone's heart. Also, I have learned for free. My gurus have never received a penny from me because I was poor. It is all about love. I offer breakfast and lunches to many poor students. Even I was crazy for Odissi. My gurus have been generous with me. Kelucharan Mohapatra, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Gangadhar Pradhan I was never asked for a penny. What I am today is the blessing of my guru. There was divine guidance. I do not know them but I went from them. I am grateful to God and to the wise guidance of God. "
Some memory of them?
"Kelucharan was a special person. Without the ego, very friendly. Always. Sanjukta was great, his way of teaching and practice was exemplary and it was nice. They were all fantastic."
How many guys live here?
"12-13. some go home and then they are here today. Rudraksha is a family. The little that I have, I share."
What is most important when preparing the dancers for performance abroad?
"First thing the dancers are ready. If you hurt a show is your last dance. Then the costumes and how they behave and how they relate to others. And finally the choreography. How appropriate bodies and to the group."
Foreigners how they react?
"Maybe they do not understand everything, but you are passionate about it. Of course, if you know the value most. They see beauty and poetry."
Where to find inspiration for new choreography?
"I begin with the music; I do not follow the choreography of anyone. Although some movements are from my guru, they are interpreted differently.
I do not imagine very, I sit in front of students and say, "Do this, does that". In the past I was not sleeping and was looking for steps and movements, now I try to relax your mind. The choreography is a flow, something comes. Sometimes it freezes and then nothing choreography. It is somewhere and is expressed through my body. It's not me. I'm just an instrument. Sometimes I do things then I look on stage and say "It cannot be mine." Sometimes a few simple things, taratataratata require a whole day; sometimes my mind is open and receives the flow. Yoga is important for that. "
He wanted a cigarette but could not smoke here. There are plants of tulsi, a sacred plant, which belongs to Vishnu. Let's take a little break. We are taking the interview taste. They bring more tea.
What is the best way to feed your inspiration? What increases the connection?
With the creative flow?
"Spirituality. Hard to explain. Not only prayer but it is peace of mind. Being kind to people, animals, plants, flowers. This is the key to spirituality. Do not expect anything from anyone. Being happy with what you. Do not be greedy. Be simple, like St. Francis, who left the luxury of starting a trip divine.
No one has ever seen God, but we can feel within us. Finding God is easy. God is love.
At the moment there is a good person, I often forget God, I do not pray, do not meditate, I'm lazy. When I go into the forest feel a positive force, I can meditate for hours. At the same time is the sexiest of the world. Dog and God are the Tessa word read backward. The most spiritual places are the sexiest.
God, there are two concepts: Saguna, form, and attributes of God and Nirguna, without attributes, without form and color. "
Another little break. And a reflection as we reach a level of depth that makes it more and more open and available, "I like this interview. Let my questions. Sometimes they are angry and cruel. They are not always well, in a good mood. This is the truth ".
What is the hardest thing in your career?
"My life has been very difficult. Sometimes they are very happy. Sometimes not at all. It is often hard to be me.
I do not know what will happen tomorrow. My life is simple: here there is no luxury, no comfort. My mother died when I was 9, my father when I was in college. "
The tone slows down, the look is dark, as to embrace distant memories but still painful. I'm tempted to tighten. Resumes:
"So I experienced a lot of difficulties: no money, no food, no clothes, I was a street kid. Then I found a family in the universe: students, friends, people who love me. Sometimes it's difficult; I have to find the money for the new routines, school, and food. My life is hard. "
How is the relationship with the other groups of Odissi?
"The truth is that there is competition. That's good, it is the market. It makes things happen, it is necessary, but it is the policy behind that is not good. With many relationships is difficult."
What do you like about the choreography of others? What are the favorite artists?
"Sujata Mohapatra is my favorite artist. We have an excellent relationship. You are not of this earth, she comes from heaven. She's different from everyone. She works hard, is generous, talentuosissima. She wanted to do something with me in the past. Maybe we will do so in the future. But I do not ask why we would stay bad if I say no. "
Ambitions for the future?
"I would like to turn the school into a real gurukool focused on dance but with yoga, practice, theory, library, flowers, and garden. So students from around the world, for me they are all the same, they can live all the experiences related to dance, which remains the most important thing. But I do not know how to do it. "
There are more men than women in the school. Why?
"The truth is that when I wanted to dance was very difficult for us men. But the dance is not a member of any kind. So I promised myself to teach men. Even today it is easier for women, even if they are not physically perfect. They did the choreography for men only. Many women after marriage leave the dance because they take care of her husband and his entire family. And without marriage can not stay in India. The dancers also have a different mentality. The women dance with the money families and then their husbands. "
What do you think now?
"That sometimes wasting my time. You?"