I have my insightful and innovative thinking and interpretation in Odissi dance as a performer, choreographer, director and teacher; together with my avid interest in the Odissi music in overall music composition.'
I have a deep love for Odissi dance and Odissi music since my childhood. My parents encouraged me in this field of dance, along with my formal education from the well-reputed school and college. A sojourn in Odissi dance started, when I joined in the first batch of students of Odissi Research Centre (ORC), Bhubaneswar. It gave me manifold opportunities to showcase my inner urge as an Odissi dancer as a performer and choreographer. Also, I got the opportunities to interact with great maestros of Odissi dance and Odissi music as well as learn from their diverse creative contributions.
By nature from my childhood, I have my own independent creative ideas; which got crystallised, with my academic and art education. At the age of 20, I went to USSR, and thereafter to North Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. When I alone conducted workshops in Odissi dance in Hong Kong at the age of 25, I was rejoiced by seeing the interests and motivations of the foreign students in Odissi dance. I never looked back on my creative contributions, and have been performing in all major and international cultural festivals.
I have trained a maximum number of students, who are now Gurus or acknowledged performers, settled across the country and who are still performing with me.
I have attempted re-exploration, reconstruction and recreation of Odissi dance in its creative and classical wholeness. I have been stressing on the techniques and grammars of Odissi dance, which are fundamentals for Odissi being an integral part of Indian classical dance traditions. I have my own concepts, objectives, themes, identities, values, meanings and practices in the existing five sequential repertory of Odissi dance through new creations to further enlarge and deepen the classical canvas and cultural rooting of Odissi dance to considerably enhance its artistic evolutionary essence in the contemporary settings.
I have been taking keen interest in music compositions to my solo, group and dance drama performances. Most of my and my group’s performances have my creative imprints of music compositions and renderings. I am privileged to have the participation of the seasoned and young maestros of Odissi music in my Odissi dance and dance drama performances.
I have also acted in the leading role in one of the most popular Odissi dance documentary-cum-serial of Doordarshan, titled “Debadasi”. It may be noted that the Odissi dance in its most traditional and pristine format, has its origin in Debadasi; although Odissi dance has developed beyond that format, including espousing the causes of gender equality and gender rights. Also, I acted in Odia films and my roles are always appreciated for their creativity and naturalness. I was also a jury of the Central Board of Film Certification.
I have also served in the Government of India (Ministry of Culture) committees on selection of young scholarships and fellowships and have been member of various thematic committees of the Government of India and State Governments.
However, the diversities of India’s cultural expressions are so ancient, even pre-historic as well as so wide-ranging, I feel my participation and contribution to Indian art and culture, as an Odissi dance exponent and innovator, is very small. But small is always beautiful and more so when creative works give immense eternal satisfaction to oneself and others, particularly the art lovers, art connoisseurs and art patrons.