Traditionally performed within temple precincts, Odissi made its way outside only in the 17th century when little boys dressed as girls (Gotipuas) would perform an acrobatic dance during festivals and processions for the public.
Our Heritage: Late Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
Odissi has since come a long way and the Maestro credited for modernising the dance form and popularising it world wide is the Late Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. He was not only a prolific choreographer, but also a dedicated guru and his legacy survives through the work of his pupils.
Our Guru: Debi Basu
Guru Debi Basu is one of his senior most disciples and an exemplary guru herself. “Debidi” as she is fondly called by her students, has dedicated herself to the perpetuation and enrichment of Odissi. She has performed at prestigious platforms across the globe such as Konark festival, Khajaraho festival, Kalidas festival, One World Theatre, Austin; World Music Institute, NY and Festival of Russia. She has several television performances to her credit and has choreographed classical dance routines for critically acclaimed films. Debidi is a founding member of “Sanyuktam”, an organization dedicated to the enrichment and promotion of Odissi and related arts.
Over the course of her career spanning more than four decades, Debidi has received many prestigious awards such as the Shringar Mani from Sur Sansad Mumbai, Special citation by the Fine Arts Society, Mumbai, and more recently the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the dance form, at the Odissi International festival 2018 in Kolkata.
Neelambaree is an alumnus of Oxford University’s Medical Science Division and after being in leadership positions in the Pharmaceutical industry for 15 years, now devotes her energy fully to Madhuriya.
She is also a Fellow of Terra.do.
She started her training in Odissi as a 12 year old and has been privileged to have also learnt from the legendary Padmavibhushan Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra directly. She has performed in India and in the UK at prestigious venues such as, the Kala Ghoda Festival and the NCPA in Mumbai and The Nehru Centre in London. She started teaching over a decade ago in Mumbai and continues to take small group and one-on-one lessons for adults in the UK. She continues her artistic pursuits in the UK as a student, a teacher and a collaborator and is also being mentored by Guru Pushkala Gopal, MBE.
Kripa is an Economist and works in the area of public policy in London. During her formative years as a dancer, she had the opportunity to train under the legendary Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. She has been deeply influenced by world renowned Odissi dancer and guru – Padmashri Madhavi Mudgal, whose workshops she has attended in the UK.
Kripa has performed extensively in the US and the UK. She is passionate about teaching and passing on what she has learnt from her guru to the next generation of dancers.
Kripa and Neelambaree continue learning from their Guru Debi Basu through regular online dance lessons.
Both have also trained in the initial Navarasa Sadhana actor training module under Sri G Venu.
“There is more wisdom in your body than in the deepest philosphy.”